Taste of Ardmore returns to Main Street tonight. During Thursday afternoon’s board of trustees meeting, this event as well as ideas for new festivals and fundraisers were among the major topics discussed.
This evening’s event will run from 5 to 9 p.m. on Main Street, and Administrative Assistant Labeth Nall talked about what visitors can expect.
“We’ve got 10 different food vendors signed up, but we’re also going to be doing something a little different this year.” Nall said. “We’ve opened it up to nonprofits, other organizations and the downtown merchants, so that will bring in another 30 booths. Plus, we have the Blue River Car Club coming back with a classic car show and we’ve got the kids area, so I think we’ll be filled.”
Nall said tickets for the food vendors and some of the children’s area attractions can be purchased for $1 a piece. Those who want to make purchases from the various merchants will need to bring money to pay for any items they buy. Local band Sun Valley Station will be playing multiple sets throughout the evening and admission to the concert is free.
Nall added that the nonprofits will provide information about their organizations and upcoming events, and she noted that Ardmore Animal Care will be one of the many nonprofits in attendance. In addition to providing information about numerous animals looking for forever homes, the shelter will also likely bring a few pets currently eligible for adoption.
AMSA General Manager Jeff DiMiceli said that since Hilary Greenberg released her report on the downtown market and business development strategy last month, there has been increased interest in the downtown area. He said that he has recently been approached by multiple individuals looking to invest in property and new businesses.
DiMiceli noted that to create even more interest in downtown development, a key element in Greenberg’s strategy was creating a signature event and fundraiser. He said that different Main Street committees are currently exploring some new ideas.
“Over this next month, we’re going to be getting a calendar together for the coming year,” DiMiceli said. “We’ve got a couple of options for a signature event that we think would be really good for us.”
He said regardless of the signature event the board eventually creates, they need to be committed to seeing it grow over the next few years. This could potentially be a brand new event or even a revamped version of Taste of Ardmore.
“We did a major overhaul (with Taste of Ardmore) around six years ago, and that’s when we saw some significant growth,” DiMiceli said. “So we’ve got some ideas, and we’re open to new ideas. We just need to see where we want to go.”
DiMiceli said that they have been in contact with other Main Street organizations around the country asking about their events and what has been successful in their communities.