Welcome to a brand new decade! FrostburgFirst has seen many changes over the past ten years, and we look forward to even better things in this new decade. We are excited to share what we’ve been working on, and what our current and developing plans are for 2020. Let the roaring twenties begin!
In the past year, FrostburgFirst led the 10-year redesignation process to maintain Frostburg’s status as a Maryland Arts & Entertainment District. The A&E designation allows Frostburg to provide tax incentives and grant opportunities for development, public art, events, and art and art enterprise resources. This year, FrostburgFirst reinstated the Fall Arts Walk, and had a record number of participants in the Spring Arts Walk. The Frostburg Arts & Entertainment District has developed goals for the next few years in the District, including educational outreach, public art projects, and new events. Want to find out more? Send us an email and learn about the next Committee meeting!
Over the past year, FrostburgFirst applied for and received 501(c)3 non-profit status. From its original incorporation in 2003, FrostburgFirst has functioned as a 501(c)6, which limited funding sources available to the organization. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, FrostburgFirst will now have access to a larger pool of funding through grants, private donorship, corporate sponsorship, private foundations, event revenue, fundraising, and other tax-exempt fundraising sources. which will allow us to open up membership to more of the community and create new partnership opportunities to help Frostburg thrive. The application process also involved developing new policies, reviewing and updating bylaws, and setting new strategic goals for the coming years.
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. We are confident that these organizational changes will allow us to more effectively pursue the goals set forth by Main Street Maryland and by our members and the Frostburg community.
It’s been a great year for events in Frostburg! Over the past year, the first annual Downtown Frostburg Cocoa Crawl, Wellness Crawl, and the newly reinstated Fall Arts Walk enjoyed success and support from the community. The 2nd Annual Pig Out in the Park: Backyard BBQ Bash saw over 500 attendees and a great response from locals and out-of-town visitors. As part of the promotion of Small Business Saturday on November 30, FrostburgFirst implemented a month-long campaign featuring participating businesses, artisans, and local vendors with daily social media posts. The Tiny Bag Search returned with record participation and some great prizes donated by local businesses to support the #ShopSmall efforts. The 16th Annual Storybook Holiday sponsored by the FSU Children’s Literature Center, the City of Frostburg, and FrostburgFirst turned downtown Frostburg into a holiday wonderland, drawing national attention from tourism articles.
Now let’s look to the new year!
2020 will be another great year for FrostburgFirst events. The 2nd Annual Cocoa Crawl is back on January 11, and the Spring Arts Walk will return on April 25. Look for fun promotions like the Wellness Crawl every month featuring local businesses and entrepreneurs – we love highlighting our charming downtown! Make sure to mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Pig Out in the Park on August 15 – if you or someone you know has BBQ skills, be sure to apply to compete in this year’s competition. The Fall Arts Walk will return in early autumn, and Small Business Saturday is always a great way to kick off the holidays in downtown Frostburg.
FrostburgFirst is thrilled to announce its new Pop-Up Shop Program in downtown Frostburg. Applications will open at the end of January and local entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to open a shop in Frostburg with financial assistance, marketing help, and resources from the Small Business Development Center. For more information, keep an eye on our Facebook page, or email us for application details.
FrostburgFirst’s membership drive for fiscal year 2021 will also be getting underway in the coming months. So, as we move into the new decade, consider how you can get the most out of FrostburgFirst’s services. By becoming a member or 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. As always, we focus on our mission of developing and fostering a prosperous, vibrant, sustainable, and resilient designated Frostburg Main Street Community.
Happy New Year!
Deirdre Robertson – Main Street Manager