BOISE -- It's the talk of the town as the City of Trees once again transforms for Treefort Music Festival.
Six years running, Treefort brings in visitors and artists from all over the world right here to Boise. The 2017 edition of the event is expected to draw thousands to the downtown area.
Treefort kicked off on Wednesday and lasts through Sunday, with Thursday ringing in the first big, full day of music.
With the huge crowds that will flock to downtown Boise over the next few days, business is already booming for hotels and restaurants. The company that manages The Grove Hotel, Hotel 43 and Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Boise says Treefort helps fill downtown hotel rooms on a weekend adjacent to spring break that would normally be a little softer.
"There's nothing bigger or better than Treefort for downtown business," said Elizabeth Tullis, owner of the Modern Hotel and Bar. "They fill up every venue."
Other downtown hotels are also seeing a spike in occupancy during the festival.
"It's a huge draw," said Aaron Black, general manager of the Inn at 500 Capitol. "We're definitely seeing a spike for Friday night."
Hotels are seeing an increase in both out-of-towners and locals.
"We have a good mix of people coming and going all weekend long," said Tullis. "It's really fun."
Right in the heart of Treefort, half of the guests staying at "Camp Modern" this weekend are musicians playing in the festival. Tullis says their rooms start booking up the day after Treefort the previous year.
Friday and Saturday are expected to be the busiest days of the festival as all forts are underway in dozens of venues across Boise.
"It's a beautiful change to what's normally going on and brings activity downtown to some areas," said Black. "It's just creating a buzz downtown."
When you have thousands of people in one area comes the necessary increase for police patrols, and one buzz law enforcement is urging you to keep under control as you enjoy all the festivities is your alcohol consumption.
"Everyone just kind of watch out for each other," said Boise Police Sgt. Michael Ruffalo.
If you head out to the forts this weekend, you will see multiple Boise Police patrol units in the downtown area.
"We also have, I believe, another whole special unit that will be working downtown, specifically for the Treefort events," Ruffalo said.
He says there hasn't been an uptick in DUI's during Treefort over the years, but with more people out on the streets drinking alcohol into the night, there will certainly be officers cracking down on drunk driving.
Folks walking around or staying in those downtown hotels will notice a spike in car traffic, and BPD will not only be enforcing traffic laws but pedestrian laws as well, so they are encouraging people to not jaywalk.
"Get down here safe and enjoy the festivities," Ruffalo added.
There will be a few street closures as the festival takes over parts of downtown Boise. 12th Street between Front and Main will be closed. Nearly all of Grove Street will be closed from 11th Street down to 14th, but the intersection at Grove and 13th will remain open.
To find more information on road closures, free shuttles, and more, head to the KTVB Treefort Music Festival Guide.
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