From the Main Street Director’s Desk
Grayling comes together for neighbors and good times
by Rae Gosling | Grayling Main Street Executive Director
The relationship between Grayling Main Street (GMSt) and Project Rising Tide is beyond measure. When you factor in other community initiatives like Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) and great community collaborations with like-minded local organizations, this city is unstoppable. While the economic development programs, like I talked about last week, are a huge factor in the growth of Grayling, another just as important element is how this city comes together in the streets for a good time.
Grayling has long been a proud community, full of folks who look out for their neighbors, and gather for fun. Whether the event is the annual River Festival with the glorious AuSable Canoe Marathon for a capstone, or the winter Christmas Walk to promote shopping local for the holidays, Grayling can be counted on to come downtown for a fun time. The winter Christmas Walk in 2016 was no different in that matter, but certainly added a couple twists to the traditions.
In recent years, the Christmas Walk committee members challenged themselves to update the 35+ year celebration, in order to entice new visitors, as well as keep the loyal patrons engaged and interested. Previous additions included the Q100 Xbox Challenge, inviting kids to come down and pit their video gaming skills against each other, as well as incorporating a Snowball Drop to earn participant’s discounts and prizes from local businesses and vendors on the street. This past year the parade was lengthened, and the time changed in order to incorporate more lighted floats. We also invited Santa and Mrs. Claus down to light the tree at the end of Main Street. In 2017 the Christmas Walk turns 40! The event committee is already thinking up some exciting ways to celebrate this momentous occasion. If you are interested in playing a role in the 40th Annual Christmas Walk in November of 2017, please contact us.
At this point, we are caught up, and the history is now in the making. Thank you for letting me tell the Main Street story over the last several months. I have thoroughly enjoyed catching everyone up with our history, as well as learning a few things myself. Now that we are in “real” time you can all better experience the work that is done with our community, and become a part of it.
As I have mentioned before, GMSt has a Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA) serving in our office from AmeriCorp, Ms. Heather Tait; she is very active in recruiting volunteers for our efforts. As I have discussed before, none of this work would be possible without the community’s support. Some of you may have already met Ms. Tait, as she had been wandering our community buying lunch for offices and sharing the volunteer opportunities we have in the GMSt program. If you have not yet seen her in your office, I would like to encourage you to give us a call, or shoot us an email, and set up your Lunch and Learn today!
Want to know more about the Main Street Refresh that Michigan Main Street communities, including GMSt, are leading the way in rolling out for the nation? 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 Grayling Main Street Executive Director. She has been with the program 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 eye shadow and hair will be next.