Carol Olson

Carol Olson

We are beginning to talk about a theme for our downtown area. At our last chamber meeting I talked about some basics that are important to put in place before we get to that point.

A clean, well-kept Main Street, including no dirt or peeling paint on the buildings, is where we begin. Josh Norton and his crew of volunteers did a great job with the downtown clean-up on Spirit Day. Plans to paint some of the buildings took off last month and the first building was painted by members of Main Street Myrtle Creek. Free paint is available to business owners in limited colors through a program involving the City of Myrtle Creek and Main Street Myrtle Creek.

I have added Living Coral to my columns at Homestead Furniture as it is the 2019 Color of the Year! I believe each business is unique and different and its colors should show its uniqueness!

We are also looking for ways to make the empty store signs and empty store windows more appealing — until new businesses arrive! We are fortunate to have a window design painter called the Angry Tooth, right here on Main Street. And she does a great job!

Not long ago, I took a trip to Independence, Oregon, a town that recently renovated their historical downtown area. Some things I noticed: to hide an empty lot, they put up a wall, and painted a mural of their steamboat days. There were no ugly power poles or lines going up and down their main street. And no parking meters, so we could shop at our leisure, enjoy our lunch, and not feel rushed! And the stores had signs that hung out from the buildings so we could easily find the store we were looking for.

I will be checking out other towns, and we will continue to improve the look of our downtown area (the basics), as we get closer to looking at ideas for a theme for our town.

The Bring Em In Committee has just finished putting together a caricature map of our town. It was painted by one of our very talented local artists: Helen Fortner. It is now at the printers and will be ready soon. There are 61 businesses on the map.

A Scavenger Hunt during July is also being planned by the Bring Em In Committee. The first person to find the hidden steelhead will win a $100 gift certificate! Steelhead fishing is a favorite pastime on the Umpqua and the steelhead also come up Myrtle Creek into town.

Last Thursday was the Grand Opening of our new Grocery Outlet! I was present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Chamber welcomes this new business to our community.

Here is a list of upcoming summer events:

July 11 — Music in the Park begins at 6 p.m. at Millsite Park. Just bring your lawn chair and join us every Thursday night through August! It’s sponsored by our Chamber and has been ongoing for 33 years.

July 12-14 and 19-21 — the Grand Victorian Theatre is presenting an evening play called the Mad Tea Party. It includes tea and dinner.

July 20 — Tommy’s has their annual Car Show and Customer Appreciation Day. This year they are celebrating 50 years! Tom Lebengood’s dad bought a Dairy Queen in 1969, and ran it for 25 years. Then Tom took it over, and a few years ago changed the name to Tommy’s. There will be free hot dogs and a way to donate to the scholarships they give out each year!

July 25 — The pool is decorated for “Christmas” for a day! It’s a fun day for kids to swim with Christmas decorations even underwater.

July 25-28 Summerfest — Live Music for three nights, booths in the park, a parade, and fireworks on Saturday night put on by the Lions. The Show & Shine Car Show on Saturday is put on by the Elks. And the Big John Miller Memorial Lumberjack Show will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at Millsite Park.

July 28 — Scholarship Golf Tournament at Cougar Canyon Golf Course sponsored by the Elks.

Aug 17 — Dinner on the Deck put on by Friends of the Pool includes a catered meal, silent and oral auctions at the pool to raise money for a Splash Pad!

Myrtle Creek also has a new Police Chief. His name is Chief Jon P. Brewster. And we will all get to meet him soon at one of our upcoming Chamber meetings!

Have a fun and relaxing summer!

Carol Olson is the President of the Myrtle Creek/Tri City Area Chamber of Commerce.

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