The Forsyth Main Street/Downtown Development Authority discussed the events it has planned for the rest of 2021 in downtown Forsyth at its Oct. 11 meeting. It is seeking businesses around the square or organizations/businesses that will set up tables on the square to give out candy to trick-or-treaters on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for the Main Street Fall Festival.
Monica Cordy, administrative assistant for Forsyth Main Street & Economic Development, said eight participants, including two churches, had committed to the event, and the 1823 Artisans Guild was added during the meeting. Main Street will provide two bags of candy to each participant, but businesses/organizations are expected to provide additional candy to cover the number of trick-or-treaters expected.
Main Street is encouraging downtown businesses to decorate for Fall or Halloween before the event, and DDA/Main Street chair Kerri Swearingen said she has been adding decorations around the square and asked others to do so if they can. She said several businesses that participated in the Scarecrow Decorating Contest in previous years had decided not to do so this year.
The next Main Street sponsored event will be the lighting of the Christmas tree on the square. Main Street plans to move the Tree Lighting from Monday after Thanksgiving to Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is Shop Small Saturday, a day focused on promoting local businesses during the holiday shopping season. Swearigen said the tree needs to be lit before the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Hometown Holidays parade, which is on Dec. 2. Cordy said she will email downtown businesses for input about having the Tree Lighting on Saturday, including whether some could plan to be open until, or even after, the Tree Lighting.
She will plan the same type of musical program as in previous years. Swearingen said she didn’t know if it would be worthwhile for Santa to be available to talk to children after the Tree Lighting since a lot of other groups in town host Santa during the holidays. She said a group other than Main Street, such as, the Backlot Players, might want to host Santa after the Tree Lighting.
Main Street plans to host a New Year’s Eve event on Friday, Dec. 31 with a band on the square. There was discussion about whether there should be one food vendor on the street as there has been in preceding years. Restaurants on and near the square will be asked if they feel having a vendor takes business away from them and whether they plan to stay open on New Year’s Eve during the event. Swearingen said local restaurants should be offered the opportunity to promote their business during the event, like sales on the street, if they want.
DDA/board member Denise Buff said she and other board members are still concerned about the city signs at Forsyth’s gateways but feel it is best to wait until a new Forsyth economic development director is hired and work with that person on the project. She said a professional should be hired to design the signs because of their impact in creating an impression of the city. Swearingen said the project needs to be coordinated with the county so that signs in communities throughout the county have a unified look.
Swearingen said she is working with Cordy on the annual paperwork to maintain Forsyth’s Main Street designation. DDA/Main Street board members who attended the meeting were Swearingen, Buff, Stan Hickman and Eric Thomas. Board members who were absent were Cason Ogletree, Greg Goolsby and Wes Cone.