From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
Looking back at successful events and looking forward to enhancing services
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
As you may recall, in recent submissions, I have recapped Grayling Main Street’s (GMSt) 2017. First, I shared the incredible volunteer hours committed to our program, and the extensive training staff and volunteers have participated in. Additionally, I discussed the investment in our downtown. What I believe to be the best compliment to our changing community is the investment current and new property and business owners are making, because they can see the potential. In this final year-in-review article, I will touch on events and programming. Due to a number of our events having been in the last several months, I will keep my remarks short, but I would like to delve into some of the programming that is less visible.
In 2017 we hosted several events, from legacy events and still developing GMSt original events, to collaborative programs with other local and state entities. We continued to build on two events that premiered in 2016, Paddle Battle and Funky Fish Races, as well as continued to support and execute some staple events like Girls’ Night Out, Harvest Festival, and Christmas Walk. Some of my favorite events in 2017 were the partnerships with Project Rising Tide (PRT) to Rediscover Downtown Grayling and introduce the new branding and marketing materials for our community as a destination.
Speaking of branding, that leads me into some of the lesser seen programming and efforts that GMSt volunteers accomplish throughout the year. The parties and fun times are easy to see, but the program is so much more. The branding and marketing project was a generous award to GMSt and the City of Grayling from Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) as both (Michigan Main Street and Project Rising Tide) coordinating programs are housed there. We spent a good portion of 2016 preparing for the rollout and 2017 introducing the complete toolbox of colors, fonts, and logos to the community. GMSt is proud to be a part of creating a consistent look for our area, to build recognition and attract businesses and visitors alike.
Certainly, one of our most beneficial programs, is the ongoing partnership with Grayling Promotional Association (GPA) to beautify the business loop and the Main Street district. This year beautification resulted in colorful flowers and new banners throughout the entire community. GPA utilized elements of the new branding to update the business loop banners, and GMSt dressed up Michigan Avenue.
Throughout 2017 we also instituted Main Street in the Museum to help promote the history of our community and have the museum open an extra day each week. This past year, we were also able to reactivate the Design Services program for downtown property owners. This allows them to get basic and comprehensive assistance from a design professional, at no cost to them, for facade updates and refreshed looks for their buildings.
In 2018 we are looking forward to enhancing our dedicated services to individual businesses, and continuing to support fun community events. We look forward to serving with you all again this year. I want to take this time to personally invite you to engage with our program as a contributor. You can contribute your time, your expertise, or financially. This work is done with you, to build a stronger, more resilient Grayling, to stand the test of time and inevitable growth of our region.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Program Director’s Desk. You can also check out their website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find them on Facebook, or email questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her hair will be next.