Summer is almost over, and it’s been a busy one for FrostburgFirst! Let’s look back at some of the highlights, and where we are headed for the Fall.
FrostburgFirst re-instated the “On Main Street” gatherings, held regularly at different times and locations to be available to members and community members. These informal gatherings, designed to give attendees the chance to share their vision for Downtown Frostburg with FrostburgFirst staff and members of the Board of Directors in a relaxed environment, have so far been held at The Princess Restaurant, Dante’s Bar, Mountain City Coffeehouse & Creamery, and Toasted Goat Winery. Keep an eye out for future meetings and stop by to share a beverage and some ideas for how to make Frostburg even cooler!
July was an exciting time in Frostburg with the Pirates Ahoy event drawing hundreds of attendees and organized by the Children’s Literature Center and representatives from the City of Frostburg, FrostburgFirst, local businesses, and Frostburg State University.
August was the busiest month this summer, with our first annual fundraiser, Pig Out in the Park, taking place on August 18, 2018! With sponsorships from local businesses, local craft and food vendors, a barbecue competition, amazing live music, and a day full of family-friendly activities, it was a fun day for everyone. Once again, Frostburg demonstrated just how supportive a community it is, with an amazing group of volunteers and help from the City of Frostburg, who helped to make the day run smoothly. Planning for this event was a year in the making, and we at FrostburgFirst were fortunate to have a tremendous committee working to make this event a success, including co-chairs Diana Iman of Funky Repurps and Erin Gotay of Dante’s Bar, Sandy Durst of Durst Funeral Home, Lauren Pappas of The Princess Restaurant, Jacki Dixon of Mountain City Center for the Arts, Bethany Doyle of Allegany Arts Council, and Brian Vought of the City of Frostburg.
As Main Street Manager, I also want to take a moment to highlight the incredible strides FrostburgFirst’s Main Street Assistant Manager Clare Buckle has made in developing new ideas and strategies for marketing and promotions, and who was the mind behind most of our Pig Out in the Park promotional activities. Take a moment to check out our website (www.downtownfrostburg.com) or visit our Facebook page to see some of the new ideas she has implemented!
So, what’s happening this Fall for FrostburgFirst?
Presently, our marketing committee is hard at work on developing a new brochure to highlight our business district that will soon be available for distribution. The committee is also working to develop a more comprehensive marketing strategy for FrostburgFirst that focuses on promoting Frostburg as a destination city and highlighting all the unique charm Frostburg has to offer.
As an organization, we are also exploring a transition to a 501(c)3 non-profit status, which would allow us to open up membership to a larger portion of the community and create new partnership opportunities to help Frostburg thrive. As a Maryland Main Street Program, FrostburgFirst is part of a state-wide and in fact, national organization focusing on the revitalization of Main Street and downtown districts. The goal of this revitalization in Frostburg is to engage the community, enhance streetscape aesthetics, promote small businesses and local shopping, and organize events and volunteers to make Frostburg a wonderful place to live, work, and visit.
FrostburgFirst just received notification that the grant application submitted to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to assist with the transition has been awarded in the amount of $16,500. Our goal at FrostburgFirst is to continue finding new ways to serve the community and our local businesses and organizations, and we hope to involve the community at large in our next stage of development. As always, we will keep our members and the community informed as new opportunities arise. We believe strongly that making this transition to a 501(c)3 will make our mission and goals more achievable. We will be keeping our members and the community informed about any changes as they happen and welcome any comments or suggestions during this process.
Finally, a major undertaking between FrostburgFirst, the City of Frostburg, and the Arts & Entertainment District Committee is underway, with the 10-year A&E District Re-designation coming up in April 2019. FrostburgFirst will be leading the process and is holding a public meeting about the process on Wednesday, September 19 at 6:00 pm at City Place. This meeting is open to the entire community, and especially to any artists, craft artisans, performers, or owners of venues who live in or sell their work in our district. We want to hear what you envision for your A&E District, so join us at the meeting or contact the office to share your ideas.
So, as we move into a new and exciting season, consider how you can get the most out of FrostburgFirst’s services. By joining a committee, you have the opportunity to have direct involvement with FrostburgFirst events, provide input on organizational operations, proposed projects, and membership incentives, and increase the visibility of your business or organization in the Frostburg community and throughout the region. Contact the office to find out more!
FrostburgFirst thanks you for your continued support, and I particularly want to thank the community for making my job as Main Street Manager such a joy! With your support, we can accomplish our mission of developing and fostering a prosperous, vibrant, sustainable, and resilient designated Frostburg Main Street Community.