It is great to see some hustle and bustle downtown.
Valdosta Main Street has created a buzz.
Now we hope the crowd becomes a swarm, but that depends on you.
Valdosta is no field of dreams.
Just because Main Street is trying to build a bee hive does not necessarily mean the swarms will come.
It does absolutely no good and makes no sense to complain about there being nothing to do, and then when Main Street, the arts community, vendors, downtown businesses and city leaders work together to offer us more things to do, we don’t take advantage of it.
We encourage the community to get behind the efforts to invigorate our downtown by attending upcoming and recurring events, spending a little money and talking it up.
So here is some of what’s happening downtown:
— 100 Black Men 24th Annual BBQ Cook-off at the courthouse square, noon Friday, Aug. 2, and noon Saturday, Aug. 3.
— Theatre Guild Valdosta presents “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1-3 and 8-10, and 3 p.m. Aug. 4, at The Dosta Playhouse.
— Maker’s Market returns from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.
— A sidewalk sale happens at the same time as Maker’s Market.
— Food Truck Thursday returns 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Lee Street and Central Avenue.
— Goodtime Jr. Music Shed performs as part of Food Truck Thursday.
— Downtown Valdosta Art Walk from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16.
— Downtown Valdosta Songwriter Showcase at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at The Dosta Playhouse.
The addition of Food Truck Thursdays alone has been a major boon for our downtown. It is the very kind of thing that vibrant downtowns do, and we believe it will in no way have a negative impact on brick-and-mortar restaurants in our downtown district. In fact, we are confident it will help those establishments by bringing more people downtown and getting people used to coming downtown to eat, listen to music and hang out.
Transforming the Farmer’s Market to the Maker’s Market was a stroke of genius. OK, maybe that’s a little over the top, but it certainly was a good idea and provides a great vehicle for producers, merchants and shoppers and has brought new life to the Saturday morning markets.
We commend Main Street and all the organizers along with the vendors for taking a chance on our community and giving us all the chance to prove that we really do want a vibrant, happening downtown.
Now, it is time for us to show up.