Did you know that the National Main Street Program began as a National Trust pilot program in three Midwest communities more than 30 years ago and now 30 years later, more than 2,000 communities across the country have adopted Main Street’s tools of historic preservation and economic revitalization?
They use them to breathe new life into their historic downtowns. The Downtown Sheridan Association began as a certified Main Street Program in 1985 as a response to the need for community and economic revitalization in our downtown. Like many nonprofit organizations, DSA has gone through bumps and growing pains over the years but we have refused to stand still and just survive.
As the needs of our downtown are changing, DSA strives to evolve as well and become more relevant to our downtown’s needs and unique struggles as well as our successes. We are constantly looking for new active volunteers and board members that are willing to put their time and energy into making their downtown amazing.
I love the saying, “Before you complain, have you volunteered yet?”
There is so much to be done and none of it can happen without a large network of volunteers. Please give us a call if you are interested in becoming involved with any aspect of our downtown, promotions, design, organization or economic revitalization. We need you to make our downtown a success. The National Main Street Program is America’s most widely recognized model for revitalizing commercial districts, and its take on preservation is what makes it unique. But we need help in keeping our main streets here at home vital and unique. It is the sense of place and our history that ground us to Sheridan, a place we proudly call our home and our community.
One way we raise money for our efforts downtown is the Wine Festival! Wild West Wine Fest will be on March 7 from 6:30-9 p.m. at Warehouse 201. We want you to be there. We would love for you to volunteer to help us as well. Tickets are on sale now at www.downtownsheridan.org. They are $50 per person for general admission which gets you all the great food, fun and wine you are used to from the event.
This year we are doing a new ticket called a reserve ticket. They are $75 per person and include earlier access to the event, with entry at 5:15 p.m. This ticket provides a more intimate experience (tickets are limited to 50). In addition to the wines that will be poured throughout the entire event, each vendor table will have additional luxury-level wines that they will be pouring for the reserve-level only.
Both ticket levels are all-inclusive of food and tastings. Each ticket holder will receive a complimentary tasting glass (sponsored by Warehouse 201 & Weston Wineries), a tasting booklet/program and a bid number. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be provided throughout the evening. We are still looking for sponsorships too.
There are many things you get from sponsoring including tickets. You can sponsor at the $250 level, $500 level or the $1,000 level. There is also going to be a silent auction. We are taking donations for that as well. Please contact me or Bonnie Gregory if you need any information at 672-8881, or go on line to www.downtownsheridan.org for sponsorship packets or tickets.
The annual fundraiser is a prime source of funding for downtown revitalization. Funds raised go toward beautification and flowers. Flowers are no small feat. With the new historic lighting and flower hangers that now run from First to Fifth streets, there are more than 150 flower pots that will need to be raised and watered twice a day. The funds raised also go toward the master plans and streetscape master plans that we have gotten implemented and continue to implement. Last but not least, they go to run the Sheridan Farmers Market, Third Thursday Street Festival and all of the other promotional events that get people downtown to shop local. Please join us on March 7!
Stacie Coe is the executive director of the Downtown Sheridan Association.