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DARC dishes on downtown development

“One of our goals is to have more events happening downtown and happening more frequently.”

Chair of the Downtown Area Redevelopment Committee Ben Harrison is sharing his thoughts as the team tasked with advancing the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan or DARP hosted a mixer Thursday evening at the Olive Tree.

The committee in encouraging more events is welcoming the return of Streetfest on June 25th, says Harrison. As well they are offering an events grant with the deadline for the first take of applications closing April 22nd.

Ben Harrison, chair of DARC. [Photo: Gerry Lampow 106.1 The Goat/Vista Radio]
“We’re having opportunities for downtown businesses and nonprofits to apply for this. As well, if organizations or businesses are located outside of downtown, they can partner with a downtown organization to hold an event downtown.”

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Along with more events, DARP has goals outlined as raising the number of residents downtown, more outdoor public spaces, improving public perceptions of downtown, strengthening business development and store frontage and clear leadership for downtown revitalization.

As the committee continues with its work they are seeking to partner with other groups to further utilize the existing infrastructure through what Harrison calls placemaking.

“Streetfest is a great example of placemaking where for one Saturday of the year, streets are closed down and utilized for shopping, farmer’s markets, food vendors, sidewalk sales. That’s a great example of placemaking that our community is already familiar with.”

Harrison says the aim is to bring more life and activity to the downtown.

With regard to upcoming events, businesses like Legacy DIY are currently planning at least three events for downtown later this year.

Streetfest information including vendors and volunteering can be obtained through the city by emailing: [email protected].

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