We don't know how many of you were downtown this weekend but it was a very busy weekend in Jamestown. It simply makes you feel good when you are walking around in your own community and there is music in the air, the smell of great food and beautiful weather. This weekend, or course, was the "Taste of Jamestown" and there was an abundance of really good food. There was great music on Potter's Terrace and with the exception of Friday morning the weather was just great. Everyone had a great time and we, at DJDC, want to thank all those that attended and also want to thank all the vendors that took part with the special foods.
We also had the MediaOne Lucy Desi Wedding Celebration at the corner of Third and Main streets in the Lucy Desi Playhouse. In addition, Center For Family Unity held its annual "Round Up For Family Unity." These were very successful events for our downtown that puts Jamestown "on the map." All three events brought people to Jamestown from out of town as well as local people. This is backed up by the fact our downtown hotels were actually sold out this weekend.
I have a couple of observations I would like to make and relay these things to all of you. As you are all aware, we still have our normal "naysayers" - although I must admit I think they are on the decline. On Friday morning we were setting up for "Taste of Jamestown" and we had just one block closed. We were preparing an area for a giant slide for our little kids to have fun on. We had a gentleman walk across the street saying "that's it close another street! That is why I do not come downtown." Of course, he actually was downtown which does not make his statement really valid. Anyway I was thinking about it and we certainly realize that closing streets does provide for some inconvenience, but really, how long does it actually take to go around the block? Just time it sometime and you will see it does not take long - and if you should happen to have to walk a block how much additional time would that take? Well I timed it this morning. It took me 55 seconds to walk one block - that is not even one minute and it is good for your health.
Some other observations we made were that first time visitors to Jamestown found it a very friendly place and remarked how nice everyone here was. They were also amazed at the great appearance of our city. There were others who were visiting for such things as reunions and just plain a trip back home. They were amazed at how good our downtown and Jamestown looks now, as compared to when they left and the city was falling into total disrepair. These comments came from young and old alike and are a great indication of how our efforts are really beginning to pay off.
The last observation I made was an especially good one and this happened several times during the weekend festivities. There were several families from the area that actually visited our downtown for the events that were happening that have not been bothering to visit downtown events. They were kind of first time visitors even though they live in the area. They were very pleasantly surprised at the quality of what we are offering. One lady told me that she and her family were going to go "out of town" for the weekend but decided to stay home and go to Jamestown for the "Taste of Jamestown." She told me they were very happy with that decision as they found the Jamestown events, and downtown Jamestown, were extremely delightful and they will be back.
There is one other item I would like to mention. There were several comments on the amount of retail and retail establishments now in Jamestown and the fact that those discussing this very thing would be back to shop in downtown Jamestown. So, all in all, I think we are on the "right track" with all of our economic development activities. Hope you all had a great weekend - oh yes - the hat of the week for next week is the Fedora.