Keeping downtown strong is committee#039;s main focus

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 29, 2003

Keeping downtown Troy strong is the primary focus of the Chamber's Downtown Revitalization Committee.

Chaired by Earl Ellis and his wife, Martha, the steering committee is comprised of representatives from several areas of the community: media, downtown merchants and businesses, Colley Senior Complex, TSU, Pike County Chamber of Commerce, the City of Troy, and the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Foundation.

"The Downtown Committee of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce has been busy over the past several months planning activities to bring awareness to our wonderful area and the businesses and services we have to offer right here in our very own backyard," Earl Ellis said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The upcoming activities include:

€ TSU International Student Reception - Each year TSU has close to 500 international students who come to TSU and Pike County not knowing anything about the area. These students will be brought to downtown Troy for refreshments and late shopping. "We hope that, as a downtown business with many goods and services to offer these students, you will participate in this event by keeping your business open on Thursday, August 21, 2003 until 7 p.m.," Ellis said.

€ Brown Bag on the Square - Every Thursday in October at

noon entertainment will be provided. Bring your lunch or order from one of the great places in town. This event has been a great success in the past!

€ Christmas Open House - Merchants who wish to participate will open their businesses for Sunday afternoon holiday shopping. There will be pictures with Santa, holiday music and a great way to Shop Pike County first.This event is scheduled for November 23, 2003, from 1 until 5 p.m.

€ Troy Christmas Parade - The parade is scheduled for December 1, 2003 beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the square. A musical program and lighting of the Christmas tree are exciting events following the parade.

€ Christmas lights - Three years ago the committee asked every business on the square to participate in lighting the tops of each building. "Most of the buildings are lighted, and we are asking those who are not yet participating to do so this year. The initial investment is $50.00 per 100 feet of lighting for each building," Ellis said. "The city will be responsible for putting up and taking down as well as storing them. After the initial investment we hope that the funds collected by the committee will pay for maintenance of the lights and purchasing replacement bulbs as needed."

This has been very successful and many people enjoy the downtown area even more during the holidays.

€ TroyFest - formerly known as the Jean Lake Festival, was a success last spring and promises to be even better next spring. The Troy Arts Council, The Pike County Chamber of Commerce and The City of Troy are the festival sponsors. Since the event is held downtown, we have appointed committee members to work with these sponsors. This is one more way we are promoting Troy and the downtown area.

These events held downtown are to promote and bring awareness to the area. There is usually cost involved, so the committee has a checking account to cover these expenses. "However, to help offset some of these expenses we are asking each business to contribute $25.00 to the fund annually," Ellis said. "These funds go to pay things such as: replacement bulbs for the Christmas lights, other decorations for downtown (for example flags) advertising and other incidentals that come up when putting on events. We hope that if everyone contributes, we will not have to go around and ask for contributions every time funds are needed for a project."