By Jacob Mathias
Discover Downtown, a showcase of all the Stevens Point downtown businesses, returns this year for the second time.
“There will be well over 50 businesses downtown represented again this year,” said John Dolan, president of the Association of Downtown Businesses and owner of the Coffee Studio on Main Street.
Formerly known as Krazy Days, Discover Downtown is hosted by the ADB July 17 (10 AM- 5 PM) and 18 (10 AM- 4 PM).
“We’re trying to brand downtown, discover downtown. That’s the whole reason for the event. That’s the whole reason for the ADB existing,” said Dolan. “The ADB’s number one reason for existing is to assist existing downtown businesses.”
Dolan said last year’s event attracted two different crowds with both shoppers visiting downtown stores and families just enjoying the atmosphere. Many businesses offer sales and promotions for their businesses during the two-day event.
“It’s a great thing for my business,” said L’Aura Di Salva, owner of Kindred Spirit Books on Main Street. “I usually have a sale table and sometimes we have special events that go on to draw people in.”
Mark Strehlow, co-owner of Clay Corner Studio, said that while his business doesn’t have the retail options that others might for Discover Downtown, the foot traffic from the event has benefited his business.
“In the past we’ll sometimes have pottery wheel demonstrations,” said Strehlow. “We get a lot of people walking through.”
“Downtown’s doing wonderful,” said Dolan. “We’re growing all the time. It’s getting better all the time. We’re seeing fewer and fewer vacant storefronts and the storefronts that are here are doing well.”
The ping pong ball drop- a local favorite- will return at noon on both days, when hundreds of ping pong balls containing special offers or prizes from downtown businesses will rain down from the rooftop of Bill’s Pizza on the first day of the event, and an undetermined business on the second day.
Krazy Days had a primary focus on the Main St. area but Dolan said that Discover Downtown and the ADB are working focus toward the entire downtown area and including all types of business, not just retail.
“…any businesses downtown, we want them out on the street letting people know that they’re here,” said Dolan.
Dolan said live music acts will perform from 11 AM to 3 PM each day though no bands are have been secured yet.
Check for updates at www.spcitytimes.com.