By Terry Rogers
Downtown Milford, Inc. (DMI) continues to plan exciting events throughout the City for summer and into fall, according to Lisa Fitzgerald, President of DMI’s Board of Directors. From Third Thursday, which continues to grow each month, to the Farmers Market each Saturday, DMI events bring thousands into Milford, promoting economic growth and a sense of community. Throughout the town and on social media, “#wearemilford” appears, indicating that DMI’s focus on building a strong community is working.
“We have been very pleased with the turnout and participation in Third Thursday and we hope each one will continue to bring more foot traffic downtown,” Fitzgerald said. “On August 17, a new twist will be added to the event. It is called Third Thursday: Light Up the River. From 5 until 8 PM, participants can come into the library and purchase boats or luminaries for a small fee to honor a loved one. Volunteers will teach the participants how to create the origami boats. The boats will be released at dusk on the Mispillion River.” Shoppers can also bring an August 17 receipt from a downtown merchant and receive a free boat.
At 8 PM, the boats will be lowered into the Mispillion River near the Santa House and the luminarias will be placed along the Riverwalk between Walnut and Washington Streets. This event is ecologically friendly and the lowered boats will be caught and removed from the River by 9 PM.
Food trucks for the event include Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen, Mr. BBQ, and Sarah’s Italian Ice on Walnut St. In addition, Carl’s Gourmet Hots (hot dogs), The Cheese Board (grilled cheese sandwiches), and White & Associates (funnel cakes) will be set-up in the park, Dixie’s Down Home Cooking food truck will be in the Lifecycle parking lot, and the Penalty Box will be in the Novel Tea Nook’s parking lot on the corner of SW Front and Church Streets.
Additionally, the Milford Museum will host an ice cream social during the Light Up the River event. Visitors on Third Thursday in August can receive a cup of ice cream with their choice of toppings to enjoy as they watch the boats light up the Mispillion.
Fitzgerald said that the Farmers Market, held on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 1 pm, has been steady. Last year, sales dropped by 30 percent starting in August due to excessive hot and humid weather, but that does not seem to be the case this year. The addition of SNAP and WIC benefits at the market have helped improve business as it brings new shoppers to the market to purchase fresh, local produce, sometimes for the first time. In addition, three new market volunteers joined this year.
“We are evaluating what types of events would best support the burgeoning economic development in our downtown,” Fitzgerald said. “We will be looking for volunteers soon to assist with our historic home renovation project on North Walnut Street.” In November 2016, the Historic Preservation Committee, which is part of DMI, issued a grant for up to $4,000 to Frank and Mary Alice Mott to upgrade the façade of their historic home located at 209 S. Walnut Street. Volunteers have been working on the project and noticeable improvements can be seen. The house is next door to the DMI office.
DMI is in their second round of interviews in search of a new director. Lorraine Dion, who filled in temporarily, finished her term in June after Steve Twilley resigned. Twilley replaced Lee Nelson who retired in July 2016. DMI is still accepting resumes which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants should submit their resume, a cover letter and three references using the subject line JOB SEARCH.
“By next summer, we would like to have a larger event that will highlight the river,” Fitzgerald said. “We are always looking for volunteers. Simply visit our website at www.downtownmilford.org and click on volunteer or call the office at 302-839-1180. We have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, both one-time events and ongoing. We are always looking for new committee members and ideas that will help promote downtown Milford.”
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