Maybe we need more crazy days in downtown
Even the morning rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm during this year’s Crazy Days held two weeks ago in downtown Marshall.
Shoppers found plenty of deals and the kids enjoyed the bounce house and petting zoo. The event also attracted a hot dog stand vendor.
Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Gruhot said the event “energizes the town and creates excitement for people to go shopping.”
Gruhot is on to something here. Crazy Days creates a needed one-day boost. And part of that boost comes from the fact Main Street is shut off from vehicle traffic so the local stores can put their price-reduced goods on display on the street allowing shoppers to roam about looking for deals without the stress of dealing with traffic. It creates a fun atmosphere for shoppers.
How about bringing that Crazy Days atmosphere to the downtown on a more regular basis? Close downtown to traffic once a week for open-street shopping. Bring in musical entertainment and bounce houses.
One option would be to move the Saturday Farmers Market from the YMCA parking lot to the downtown area. Maybe more vendors would participate and it would give shoppers more of an incentive to visit the downtown.
The downtown retail storefronts, restaurants and bars should benefit from the extra foot traffic.
Shutting down a portion of Main Street to traffic on a weekly basis might be too big of a hurdle to overcome. If that’s the case, maybe trying out this concept for just once a month or how about just closing down Third Street to vehicle traffic.
Something to think about.