Monday, November 28, 2016

Main Street News: November 28th

Now that November is coming to a close, the ‘official’ countdown to Christmas begins! Although I’ve been working toward Christmas for quite some time around the office, it is hard to believe that the days are now numbered and there is much to do. But first a lineup of Barnesville Miracle on Front Street events and opportunities are before us.

Bundle up the whole family and head downtown on this Wednesday, November 30th at 6:30 pm to enjoy the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Friendship Park right on Front Street. Join in singing a few Christmas carols to warm our hearts, give us a dose of good cheer and start the season out right!   Refreshments are provided compliments of Stoneridge Software and cookies from Barnesville Grocery. Polly Thorsness will again be giving horse drawn wagon rides. The big evergreen tree at the park is being decorated with homemade ornaments by the Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd Grade students this year. The Tree Lighting is a nice way to warm our hearts and spread some holiday cheer with your community friends. 

On Saturday, December 3rd, the fun will start again as Santa Claus comes to town!  He will meet everyone out at St. John’s Lutheran Church for Breakfast with Santa from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. The breakfast will be provided and served by the Thursday Nite Lions with a free will donation. Santa will be there during breakfast and will have lap space for children to share their holiday wishes. You can also get your hands on keepsake photos of the moment for optional purchase at a low cost. Surprises for the kids are given from the Main Street Program. Activities are provided for the children as well so that parents can take a few minutes to shop from our local vendors on hand!

Don’t forget to register to win a turkey!  Then Main Street Program will be giving away several delicious birds from Barnesville Grocery on Dec. 19.  You can register until then at the following Main Street Program businesses:  Azure Eye Clinic, Barnesville C-Store, Barnesville Chiropractic & Fitness Center, Barnesville Grocery, Barnesville Record-Review, Barnesville Drug & Hardware, Cenex, Eagle CafĂ©, Midwest Bank, Priority Real Estate, Firehall Liquors and Rehab PLUS. 

The Miracle on Front Street promises to be a busy time of activities for all ages. Come enjoy some Christmas spirit! And don’t forget to get those lights up and turned on for the Home Lights Contest.  Turn your lights on Thursday, December 15th, the Christmas Cruisers will be out.  Call the Main Street Office at 354-2479 before then to vote for the People’s Choice Award!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Main Street News: November 14th

During this time of year – and a many other times too – I am thankful for and reminded of our volunteers.  Our Main Street Program volunteers are so needed and I hope they realize how much we appreciate them.  We have a dedicated group who give their leadership to the committees and board on a regular monthly basis and manage the special events.  There are those who pitch in for special tasks like folding 3,000 newsletters, playing Santa, serving food, staffing a registration table, and planting and watering flowers. Often times, I pick up the phone and ask someone for a special task or for some assistance and rarely do I hear the word “No”.  Time and time again our volunteers give of their time and talents with a giving heart to help the Main Street Program.

As a busy time of year kicks in gear here at the office, I realize how much I depend on them.  As always, I am appreciative of the unselfishness they show as they take on task after task.  The Main Street Program would absolutely fold if not for their efforts.

As we count our blessings this Thanksgiving season, take a moment to thank a volunteer.  Barnesville is full of them – they are not just at Main Street, but everywhere we look.  We need them.  Let’s be sure they know we appreciate them. I hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Main Street News: November 14th

Saturday, November 26 is Small Business Saturday all across America. Firmly planting its roots between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this annual event has rallied and strengthened Americans in support of small independently owned local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country.

This day is one in which consumers are asked to shop at their favorite small business and help fuel the economy. On one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, this Saturday especially recognizes the small town business owner and the importance they bring to our country.

That can’t be more true than right here in our small town of Barnesville. All our businesses, whether a retail business or not, depend on their customers to remain open, to retain their employees and to make a living. Remember these business owners and employees are your neighbors and friends. They live here, their children are educated here, they go to the same events that you do and are committed to making our community, just that - a community.

I would like to take the Small Business Saturday a little further to beyond Saturday and into the following weeks ahead. I encourage each of you to visit any of our fine businesses here in town and give them your business. Services that we utilize are just as important as retail. Insurance, banking, vehicle repair, tires, medical services, and others are necessities that we have right here! No need to take your dollars outside of town. Give some serious thought as to whom you can support locally rather than taking your business elsewhere. 

As we all work together we can indeed make our economy stronger and our community stronger.  When we all shop small, it can be huge!  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Main Street News: November 7th

If you’re like me, you don’t really know what to think of our country now-a-days. Finally, the craziest election in our nation’s history is about over, and it’s time for us to start talking about something else. Halloweens is past us and it seems like everyone is gearing up for Christmas. CHRISTMAS? Wait…we forgot a holiday! Wait- we are forgetting about two holidays, not to mention some of the most important days on the calendar! Yes, you’re right. I’m talking about Thanksgiving. But some of you might not realize the other holiday I’m talking about is Veterans Day.  Honestly, growing up I didn’t realize how important Veterans Day was. I didn’t have many connections to any veterans, as so I thought.  It wasn’t until my Junior year in high school where I realized I was wrong. In my 11th grade history class, we had a long lesson on the Vietnam war. Our assignments included history reports, reflection papers on videos we watched, and interviews with someone who was directly affected by the Vietnam war. Then to complete the project, we needed to use our creativity to physically display what we learned. I had the pleasure of visiting Washington D.C. in the middle of the project, where I found a t-shirt, some patches, and took pictures of the Vietnam Memorial. I went home knowing exactly what I was going to do for my project! My finished project was a quilt that portrayed the jungle of Vietnam, pictures of soldiers and my personal pictures from the memorial. I also included the t-shirt and patches I found. The next year, I helped my school plan their first Veterans Day service. I spoke about how much I learned through our Vietnam project and just how important it is to thank our veterans, because they aren’t told that enough. My quilt is now on display at the Breckenridge high school year-round for everyone to enjoy.
My story doesn’t end there. In 2011, I was involved in a group that brought over 1,200 quilts to soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Both my aunt and grandma get together with a group called Quilters Embrace. Quilters Embrace is a non-profit organization of giving people in Otter Tail County, donating their time to making quilts for Quilts of Valor. We loaded up a bus and headed south! Of course, we had some fun along the way, but we had one goal. To thank some of the many soldiers who serve our country and present them with a hand-made quilt. I had the opportunity to take pictures and blog about our travels. It was so much fun to capture all the emotions of the trip and thank these soldiers in person!

Through all of this, I learned that you don’t need to personally know someone to appreciate and celebrate Veteran’s Day. There are a countless number of soldiers who don’t know me, but they are out there fighting for my freedom. Now I have some homework for you guys! I want you to thank a veteran this week. Maybe you call up someone you know or see someone wearing a hat or jacket around town. As Thanksgiving gets closer, please join me in showing them we appreciate their service!