Downtown Development Week

From October 8 – 14, OCRA wants to join all Indiana towns and cities to celebrate their downtowns during the inaugural Downtown Development Week (DDW). This week we want to honor cities and towns’ commitment to preserve and invest in the heart of the community – their downtown!  Indiana Downtowns are many things, and some of them include:

  • a central commercial district,
  • a prominent employment center,
  • the historic core of the community,
  • the community gathering place,
  • local business incubator,
  • a significant community tax base,
  • and most importantly, a reflection of community image, pride and prosperity.

During this week, we challenge all our partners to celebrate their downtowns by sponsoring events, activities, festivals, parades, business promotions, restaurant deals, or a combination of a few activities to highlight the best of their downtowns. The sky’s the limit!

Grant Opportunity

Downtown Development Week (DDW) is an excellent opportunity to showcase all of the positive activities and investments that are happening in your downtown!  Focus on activities that celebrate your community’s unique downtown heritage as well as acknowledging and supporting all the businesses and services that are an integral part of your downtown.  
 
On July 18, OCRA accounced that five projects were selected from 24 submitted applications and will receive a $1,000 grant. 

City of Decatur
To celebrate Downtown Development Week, the city will highlighted recent investments in their downtown that includes: renovations, new streetscapes, upgraded facades, new street lights and a new festival plaza.

City of Fairmount
Main Street Fairmount will host a three-day event celebrating the completion of the first phase of their Main Street Revitalization Program grant. The event will recognize and celebrate the partnership between the Town of Fairmount and Main Street Fairmount along with celebrating businesses, service and veterans organizations and individuals who have supported downtown Fairmount.

City of Greenfield, and the Town of Fortville
Greenfield Main Street Inc. and Fortville Action Inc. are partnering to host scavenger hunts in each community throughout the week. Both scavenger hunts will incorporate each community’s unique history and cultural features. 

City of Kendallville
Experience the Heart of Kendallville will be hosting various activities during Downtown Development Week to include storefront window decorating contest and a downtown celebration.

City of Madison
The Madison Main Street Program will have a week of action-packed events for community members and visitors to learn and appreciate downtown Madison’s history and architecture.  Events include a window display contest, special menus at downtown restaurants, a pumpkin carving contest as well, as a Micro-Mini-Marathon, which encourages people to dress in costume.
 
 
 

Events & Activities

OCRA is planning or providing the following for the week:

  • Marketing material will be available to download to help you promote the week through your social media channels.
  • Collect planned events and help create have an online map which will be a place view of all community events, programs and activities.
  • From June 1 through July 8, an online voting contest is open for photos that capture the spirit and uniqueness of your community’s downtown
  • OCRA’s Quick Impact Place Based Program will offer extra points if the project will launch, be completed and/ or celebrated

Participating communities will determine what activities they will create, sponsor or leverage during the week.  All Indiana communities are invited to participate and OCRA will be celebrating with you! Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch may also visit a few communities during the week to help them celebrate.

Bring the LG to My Community

Thank you to all who participated in this contest by posting a photo on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account with the hashtag #LgtomyDowntown. So many photos were entered and we are in the process of reviewing and selecting the winners.

If your picture is selected as a winner, the community will be responsible for selecting a special event or activity for Lt. Governor  Crouch to visit during the week.

How can you celebrate?

The possibilities are endless!  Indiana loves celebrating and showcasing all the great things that make us Hoosiers!  You don’t have to plan anything big or expensive to showcase your downtown.  Think outside the box when identifying potential partnerships that will help you promote or sponsor. Partnership and communication between organizations, your local unit of government and downtown businesses are key to any successful event.  List planed events to help create complimentary activities or events.  For example, if your downtown is already holding a fall arts festival coordinate with local businesses to extend their hours and to offer DDW specials. Or possibly have special coupons available to be redeemed at downtown businesses.  Work with your community’s particular assets and strengths to determine your plan.  We hope this will be a fun celebration and encourage you to make it unique to your community.

Tell us you are celebrating

As we draw closer to October, we will ask communities to share with us the list of events they have planned for the week.

Please contact us to tell us how your town is celebrating Downtown Development Week.