SANFORD, Fla. -- Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Sanford Thursday night for what's known as Central Florida's longest-running large street party. 

  • Sanford's "Alive After 5" street party to stay put 
  • Some business owners, organizers pushed to move the event
  • Event was started draw customers to small business in downtown Sanford

But there was a push by the event's organizers – and some business owners – to move "Alive After 5" to a different place in the city.

The street festival started more than a decade ago to draw customers to small businesses in downtown Sanford.

Kelly Clore says her family took a risk when they opened up Boba Babes on Sanford's 1st Street in February.

"It's not something you just leap into, or sometimes you do leap and just hope you don't fall," Clore said.

Clore says events like Sanford's monthly Alive After 5 can attract customers who come to Sanford for the party, but indirectly find out about new businesses like her family's.

"They'll enjoy themselves there, and after that they'll have to head to their cars and at that time they'll get a glimpse of our storefront and see what we have," Clore said. "I mean who doesn't love a street party."

But some business owners say the street party can actually keep customers away in the hours before it because streets are blocked off, making harder to get to their businesses.

"The time it takes to set up the event makes it really dull around Sanford for at least three or four hours," said Christina Hollerbach, chief operating officer of Hollerbach's Willow Tree Café. "During this time we normally have pedestrians, and cars and people in restaurant."

The Historic Sanford Welcome Center manages the event.  Its president, Derrick Daniels, says with those concerns -- and in an effort to manage the festival's costs -- he pushed to get it moved from Sanford's 1st Street to Sanford Avenue. 

However, Daniels says the event would cost more in the new location because along Sanford Avenue, more police officers would be needed to block off more cross streets. 

So for now, Alive After 5 will stay where it is.

Clore hopes the event will keep sending more customers to her business.

"It's about them clueing in that, 'oh wait, I saw that business, they might be there in a week when I want to frequent back to Sanford,' Clore said. "So it's about bringing new people to the area."

Sanford's Alive After 5 takes place every month on the second Thursday of the month.