From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
The 40th Annual Christmas Walk is here
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
Christmas Walk is here! This weekend we will be celebrating the 40th Annual Christmas Walk in Downtown Grayling and we could not be more excited. This year will include some of the classics seen over the years, including: Santa and Mrs. Claus taking pictures with visitors, reindeer, a beautiful horse drawn carriage, a trolley to take you all around town, and of course shopping! We will also be hosting some newer elements of the event, like: the shopper’s showcase featuring local homebased businesses, the snowball drop for prizes and discounts, and the longer route light parade.
Also, don’t forget to check in at the Grayling Main Street (GMSt) table, in AuSable Artisan Village, to get your trolley pass. When you ride the trolley around town to visit all the participating businesses, you will be eligible to receive raffle tickets from GMSt, for great giveaways following the tree lighting ceremony at the end of the parade.
Additionally, the Christmas Walk has more to offer than just downtown shopping. With several community partners and organizations present, you can support your favorite business and service program in the same day. We encourage folks to not only shop and make memories, but also engage with the groups present at the event. The season for giving includes many different contributions. Some programs, ours included, are often looking for volunteers to further the mission of their program. We are also frequently looking for insight and feedback.
Speaking of feedback (yes, I agree, terrible transition), last week, I shared with you some thoughts on parking. While I did not receive much direct feedback, I was made aware of some reactions from residents of the Grayling area.
This has led me to offer this message: I love hearing from you, and GMSt is here to serve the community. We do this by promoting and facilitating economic development and working to preserve our history and authenticity. With economic and community development comes physical growth. This forces us to look at historic preservation through a lens that invites innovative thinking, and encourages responsible change.
Parking is an area where we will certainly be stretching our innovative muscles and giving them a good workout. By being proactive about understanding the potential growth and needs of our commercial district, we can best strategize for sustainable and responsible change. Change, that has the least negative impact on our culture, thus preserving authenticity. We are looking at strategic ways to handle an impending growth of our downtown, which includes increased traffic in and around the area.
A paid parking system is just one of the countless options for consideration when it comes to maneuvering traffic in and around downtown.
In closing today, I would like to reiterate my statement several lines back: I love hearing from you. Please, call, email, or write to me and tell me why you are for or against a parking system, paid or not, in Downtown Grayling. Without constructive feedback and input from the residents and business owners we are doing what looks best on paper, and according to data points from other places. Although, as many of you know, and we know it too, there is more to the story than just the numbers. Do not be afraid to be honest about your reasons, but do, please, remain respectful and open-minded, as we guarantee that same courtesy.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk. You can also check out our website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her hair will be next.