On Tuesday evening, October 30, I once again had the opportunity to participate in one of the most festive and enjoyable events held in New Albany each year. For the eighth year in a row, I was part of Trick or Treat Downtown, sponsored by the New Albany Main Street Association.
In the past, I had helped with a variety of events, but this year I had the rare opportunity of being one of the judges of the costume contest. Approximately sixty costumed children entered each of the three age groups: 0-2 years old, 3-6 years old, and 7-10 years old. What a delightful assortment of transformations we saw! They ranged from a skunk and a frog to butterflies and princesses, with all sorts of goblins and personages also represented.
This was a delightful experience but the entire event was fun for the crowd of about four thousand children and grown ups. In addition to being treated to candy by downtown merchants, children and their parents could take part in many activities.
This is only one of many events sponsored by Main Street. The next one will be Holiday Open House on November 18. The calendar for 2008 includes Easter Bunny Downtown in March, both the Picnic in the Park and Down from the Hills in May, Middle of the Street Mall in August, Paint the Town as part of the Tallahatchie RiverFest in September and, of course, the same October and November events as in 2007.
Main Street has been active in promoting the revitalization of downtown New Albany. Much of the credit for the improved appearance of buildings and the variety of goods and services offered by the business is due to the merchants and other business owners themselves. The main Street Design Committee, however, has promoted many projects that enhance the appearance of downtown New Albany. These include the purchase of lights for the Tallahatchie River Bridge, the planting of crepe myrtle trees, the landscaping of Cooper Park, the provision of planters for storefronts.
The current proposed project is the placement of plugs at the bases of the crepe myrtles for Christmas lighting (thus eliminating the need for extension wires all along the street) and the installation of up-lighting for the trees so that they will be more visible and attractive all year. This project, however, is so expensive that Glenda Conlee, design committee chairman, hopes that the City of New Albany will help pay the cost.
Established in 1996, with Cary Weeden as its first director, the New Albany Main Street Association has continued to fulfill its purpose to foster, promote, maintain and encourage the civic, social, commercial, tourist and economic welfare of our city.
It is an organization of volunteers comprised of board and committee members. Any business, organizations or individual may become a member. Membership entitles on to many benefits.
Vickie Duke, current director of Main Street, urges people also to volunteer to help with any or all of the many activities sponsored by Main Street.