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Street Talk

Main Street Was Swinging Friday Night

Last Friday night Main Street was packed. Packed as in people on the sidewalks and all the parking spaces on Main Street full for the entire four-block length. They’re actually pretty long blocks with lots of parking. And it was packed. But more important than that was the feeling that the place was alive. Carriage rides in the street, shops open late, folks out and about, restaurants full, all in all it was a pretty good feeling. 

Making it happen was the Chamber, Main Street merchants, the city, and most of all, Water Valley’s residents coming out for the night.

The morning after, last Saturday, the rain came down steady and the call went out early. The Christmas parade was postponed to this coming Saturday at 1 p.m.. So there’s another opportunity to have that feeling again this weekend, I’m hooked on it.

If you noticed last week there was not one, but two man lifts in use on Main Street. You know, those extending boom basket things that look like they’re attached to an overgrown lunar rover. You might think they are odd looking vehicles, but to me their presence is a sign of progress downtown. Steven Hill and his crew were working one up high on Mechanics Bank. The McGregor Steel guys were working the other one on Terry Warren’s buildings (305 and 307 N. Main). The crew was doing the up high work of installing a roof and welding rails on a new double balcony. Underneath the balcony, on the sidewalk, Kenny Harmon and his crew were doing a final fitting for the façade windows; a nice feature is the windows swing open. 

The Velvet Glove is in 307 N. Main and they’re back in action. Keeping a business open has always been one of the tougher aspects of Main Street renovations in a building that’s occupied. The Velvet Glove is doing it now, last year it was the North Mississippi Herald office, and several years ago Hair Trendz. All the businesses kept their operation going while major work was going on. It’s a balancing act between the business, the building owner, and construction crews. Lots of patience required for all, but with the common goal of making their building, and the street in general, better. 

The Main Street office (207 N. Main St) has kept the interior lights blazing the past month. It’s bright at night, but we’re not burning that much juice, all the bulbs are LEDs or compact fluorescents. And the reason for the illumination is to backlight the many drawings; they are more artistic renderings, which are displayed in the office’s storefront windows. 

Covering the glass is a selection of the many inspired ideas put onto paper by the fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at Davidson Elementary. Working with art teacher Ms. Richardson, volunteers from the Water Valley Arts Council asked students to imagine inventions that would meet their greatest need or desire. If you are walking downtown at night stop by the window and take a look. Or this Saturday, pass on by before or after the Christmas parade. It’s fascinating to see what these young creative minds imagine and one day might build.

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