Since 1825, the Old Town area has seen both prosperous times and, for the second half of the 20th century, stretches of destitution. Within the last 30 years, dedicated locals have started turning Old Town back around, dropping its building vacancy rates from 90% to less than 10% and establishing a slew of festivals, art venues, and boutiques. The Old Town Commercial Association plays its role in this cultural and economic renaissance by holding the annual Old Town's Taste & Tour to raise funds for community revitalization projects.
More than 300 people attended the event in 2011, sampling bites of cuisine dished out by local restaurants. Owners of local lofts give participants a rare opportunity to tour their unique living spaces and the rooftop cannons that launch them to work each morning.