MONTROSE – Early communications with city and county officials has the Main in Motion board optimistic about the future of Montrose's weekly summer Main Street event.
“On a whole, we are really excited about this year,” MIM board chairwoman Kendra Gallegos Morrow said. “And we are really excited that the city and county are all working together to make this successful.”
Main in Motion is a 12-week street event that closes six blocks of Montrose's Main Street from Townsend to Junction avenues every Thursday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. starting the first week in June. It features live music on every block and special activity areas, including an art corner and teen center. There are food vendors, art demonstrations and an array of activities.
Members of the MIM board recently met with area officials as they begin gearing up for this summer.
The 10-year event has experienced growing pains recently, since expanding down Main Street. Between 2010 and 2011, an additional three-block closure and a city fee increase daunted the MIM board with $5,400 more in costs. According to Morrow, the newly organized Downtown Development Authority chipped in to cover those additional costs, and with the additional sponsorship from Flower Motor Company, Main in Motion was able to continue.
Morrow was excited to announce recently that Flower Motor signed up to be a MIM sponsor again this year – adding to the optimism.
Though vendor trouble also arose last year after the board was informed by the county's health department that there could be more fees, those additional charges never materialized, Morrow said last week. But the concern of undefined costs scared off more than half of last year's food vendors.
Morrow hopes that this year the vendors will return, as the county is simplifying the process, she said.
“We're hoping they'll come out. The event doesn't have the right feel without food vendors there,” Morrow said.
The board plans to continue with its main stage and themed weeks this year and currently is working on those ideas.
As part of the planning process, the board is inviting the community to an open house starting at 6 p.m. on March 22 in the Centennial Room off of Centennial Plaza.
Morrow said the board is seeking both positive and negative feedback and hopes those who come with negative comments also bring solutions.
New leadership within the city and downtown also has the MIM board looking forward to new opportunities, Morrow said.
“I'm so excited to work with Scott Shine (DDA director) and Bill Bell (new city manager),” she said. “They've got a lot of great ideas and new perspectives.”
Bell said the city is working to reduce the street closure fees by utilizing a team of volunteers for closures, clean up and safety monitoring.
“I have told MIM that I feel that their event is a very important event for the entire Montrose community,” Bell said. “The city is looking forward to helping with MIM this summer, as it is an exciting way to meet members of our community in a social atmosphere to learn more about the residents we serve on a daily basis.”
Supporting successful downtown events also is a mission of the DDA and was recently outlined in the DDA's new Plan of Development. That plan states that though there are logistical concerns and challenges to address, MIM is a key event for the vitality of downtown. It goes on to state that the DDA should support the MIM organizers and when appropriate, assist them in improving and expanding the event.
Support is needed, but so are volunteers who can serve on the board, bring new ideas through the MIM committees or help Thursday evenings. These volunteers could assist with street closures, trash pickup or check on vendors and activity directors, Morrow said.
People can learn more about these opportunities at the open house, and they can RSVP to that event on the Main in Motion Facebook page or by emailing Morrow at Kendra@canyoncreekbedandbreakfast.com.
“There is nothing set in stone, but we're headed in a good direction,” Morrow said.