By DONALD CAMPBELL / Special to the Outlook
A thriving downtown area starts with giving people reasons to come to the area. MainStreet Alexander City has turned to some tried-and-true ideas to make that happen here.
Downtown After Dark has big plans to carry on this tradition after last week’s successful outing.
“Several years ago, there was a First Friday held in downtown, but due to a combination of factors, it just died off,” Wagoner said.
However, with the area resurging, the local promotions committee sold the idea of Downtown After Dark to local businesses, with great success.
“It gives people a chance to walk around downtown, visit the stores, maybe eat dinner, and simply enjoy the evening,” said Richard Wagoner.
There are many different events that could be part of future Downtown After Dark nights, Wagoner explained.
“We could have a Pet Night, where people can bring their pets and walk them around downtown,” he said.
In addition, he mentioned the potential for art walks, featuring works from local artists, or even cruise-ins, where people could showcase classic cars and let the public admire vintage vehicles.
Thursday evening, MainStreet held its first installment and hundreds of people came downtown to dine, shop and visit with friends. The buzz it created was enough to show that it was an idea that was popular with residents.
Wagoner said the plan is to hold Downtown After Dark once a month.
“The exact date may change from month to month, depending on holidays and other events,” Wagoner said. “We plan to work along with the Young Professionals and the Strand Session because people are already here and why not build off that? Like the Farmer’s Market, its neighbors getting together, communicating, and socializing with each other.”
No matter what date Downtown After Dark takes, not only does this event bring people into the area, but also gives them a great opportunity to see and experience all that Alexander City has to offer.
“Once they are here and see what is available, there’s a better chance they will come back,” Wagoner said.