Part of building an idea Friendly town is making it possible for different kinds of people to connect. When you create the events that get different groups to mix, you’re making your community stronger.
Colfax, Washington, has First Thursdays. Stores stay open later with sidewalk sales, booths pop-up on the streets and sidewalks, vendors sell food, and lots of people come downtown in the late afternoon and early evening.
As the evening goes on, the event sort of shifts. There’s a fun relay run for adults (run a mile, drink a beer, tag the next runner…) and a street concert with a local band.
Val from Colfax told me that as the event shifts, the crowd shifts as well. Different people come out for the beer run and concert than were there for the shopping. And in between is this special time when the two crowds mix. People who don’t normally see each other are talking and catching up. Random conversations and serendipity can happen. It’s a collisionable moment where people connect.
Community happens when people talk to each other.
The real purpose of the event isn’t the concert or the beer or the shopping. It’s community. The larger goal is to build a stronger community, and mixing the crowds helps do that.
Keep shaping the future of your town, Becky
PS – Deb and I are talking about building life and activity in your downtown in our next webinar, Downtown After 5.
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