COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The 2019 Georgia Thespian Conference has almost 3,400 students from around Georgia converging upon the Fountain City and spending money while here.
Columbus has been cast in the role of host city for the past 11 years and is the largest event at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center each year.
The three-day event brings $1.2 million dollars in economic impact to the city. That amount comes from money spent at hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other local establishments.
This is the first Thespian Conference for two students from Newnan, Georgia, M.J. Moore and Alantis Thompson, as well as countless others.
“The campus is gorgeous,” Moore said. “I’m meeting so many new people. I got so many new Instagram followers and Snapchat followers. The food is great, and I’m seeing cool shows. It’s really fun.”
Those attending the conference get to watch up to five plays a day, as well as go to workshops and classes on dancing, acting and singing. These plays and classes are spread throughout the uptown area in different locations, such as the Springer Opera House, Columbus State University and the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.
“There’s no place like Columbus that has five theaters within walking distance,” Paul Hampton, the chapter director of Georgia Thespians, said.
He said though they have looked at other cities in Georgia, they are happy with Columbus and hope to continue having the event here.
Hampton said using many different locations throughout Columbus really showcases what the city has to offer.
Thompson said she has enjoyed the people in Columbus. “It’s a really inviting community type thing, and I just love it." she said. “Everyone is really nice.”
The conference lasts through Saturday, Feb. 9.