Thank you to Baleigh, who is the intern for the Darke County Visitors Bureau. She joined us during August's First Friday event and shared her thoughts in this post. Thank you for featuring downtown Greenville during your "Follow Baleigh" tour this summer! If you want to follow Baleigh to the other sights and attractions in Darke County - give the Darke County Visitors Bureau's Facebook page a "like"!
It has been yet another exciting week at The Darke County Visitors Bureau! With the relocation of the office, preparations for grand opening, my first experience on the radio with Alex Mikos at WTGR, a...nd all of the festivals and events taking place in Darke County, Deanna and I still found time to venture out into the community of downtown Greenville. This time around, we walked on Broadway, the main street of downtown Greenville so that I could experience Main Street Greenville’s First Friday event for August. The theme for the month was live musicians, but just for fun, there were spontaneous artists scattered all around downtown including a yard bomber! Also dispersed down the street were blue balloons with a Sharpie marker attached to them so visitors could share their ties to downtown Greenville. It was so fun to read these messages on the balloons, the memories shared and why they have come to Greenville or back to Greenville. With so much to do and see, it’s no wonder why Broadway is so popular for this event which takes place every first Friday from March through December. I spoke with George Luce who is a frequent attendee of this monthly get-together. He shared with me that he and his lovely wife along with two other couples plan to come to Broadway for the event, and “mingle with other people, have dinner, and just hang out.” His favorite part of First Friday events: The people. This was a message I heard from everyone single person I interviewed. With a goal of “working to preserve the historic and traditional character of our built environment,” Main Street Greenville has put these events together for the past few years with much success. Their fearless leader for the past year and a half has been Mrs. Amber Garrett who has put her heart and soul into this organization with the goal of bringing more people and attention to downtown Greenville. I don’t know about you, but by looking down the streets, I believe she has accomplished this goal! Not only are First Friday’s a good time for all of the people that attend, but it also helps make business BOOM downtown. I spoke with several business owners, and they all agreed that First Friday’s are beneficial to their shops. Kirsten Berghoff, owner of Sadie Grace, had this to say when asked if her shop benefited from the event; “Most definitely. We stay busy the entire time. We are usually open past nine o’clock every first Friday, so it is a lot of fun.” Not only is Sadie Grace experiencing a surge in sales during the First Friday festivities, most of the store owners along Broadway agree including Aaron and Betsy Ward, owners of the The A & B Coffee & Cake Co. and Lelah Shoop, co-owner of YOUNIQUES BOUTIQUE. An estimated 1,500 people turned out for this event in August, but since this was my first rodeo, I wanted to know what brings people back each month. To answer this question, I turned to Greenville native and owner of The Coffee Pot, Rob Garrett, who said that his favorite part is “Seeing people downtown. When we were younger, everybody used to come downtown and cruise Broadway. So on Friday and Saturday nights, there was always something to do. This stopped a long time ago, and I don’t think that kind of stuff will ever come back because it’s a generational thing. Times are different now. So, it’s events like First Friday that remind people that they can come and have a good time downtown.” When making plans for next month, be sure to come to First Friday in downtown Greenville, and enjoy some good ole’ family fun. The event takes place on Friday, September 5, and the theme is “Theatre on Third” where a movie will be shown on the side of a building on West Third Street. You can even have a say in what movie is shown. Main Street Greenville is asking for your help in selecting the movie. The choices are: The Lego Movie, E.T. the Extraterrestrial, or Free Birds. Go to DarkeJournal.com to vote. Till next week! Baleigh