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Street Talk

‘Parked Up’ Main Street Means Business

by Mickey Howley

Main Street was “parked up “ last Saturday evening. Maybe it is the city boy in me, but I always think it is great if the street is so full one has to actually hunt for a parking spot. It means good things are going on. Not that we need more parking spaces. If it is one thing Water Valley has in over abundance, it is downtown heat-radiating asphalt parking spaces. But the reason last Saturday night where folks had to actually park and walk some was the opening of the Studio B side of Defining Moments. The crowd was a good cross section of the community, from their mid-teens to mid-70s and all seemed pretty thrilled to have a new boutique on Main Street.  Check out Studio B at 205 N. Main when you need a break from the heat this week.

Last week David Preziosi from Mississippi Heritage Trust was in town walking the street, taking notes, and documenting work for the National Register of Historic Places district. His work involves researching the historical details of buildings, getting the property descriptions right, and assembling current and historical images of downtown. So he spent time at the courthouse, city hall, and at this paper’s archives. I think he found almost all of what he was looking for and found everyone very helpful and happy to help him. Looking through the newspaper’s archives, David was not only looking for very old photos, but images from Water Valley’s recent past, all in an attempt to document the changes to downtown with an accurate timeline.  The changes in the area of what is now Railroad Park were great to see; it is how an unsightly strip of unused railway (still wishing the train came through town, though) was slowly transformed into the li-near park we have today. The park has brought much needed green space and big trees to downtown, a lasting credit to those who had the foresight to see the project through.

Mark your calendars for another time when Main Street will be crowded and you’ll want to walk some: the third annual Downtown Studio ArtCrawl is Friday evening Oct. 7.

Last year’s ArtCrawl was Mississippi Main Street’s winner for Best Special Event in the State. The Crawl has put us on the map and other local towns are starting to copy the idea. Events like the ArtCrawl are a big part of the “creative economy” that the Mississippi Development Authority and Mississippi Arts Commission have been promoting together.

Next Wednesday, Aug. 10 in Jackson, MDA and MAC are hosting a Creative Economy Summit pulling together creative economy examples from across the state. Water Valley has been asked to make a presentation about how our creative energies help the local economy. Nice to have Jackson calling us for a favor for a change.

The Farmers Market is still going strong. Just picked fresh tomatoes and squash were all gone by 10 am last week.  Beat the heat and get there early, the market opens at 8 and goes to 11.  See you there.

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