Group’s goal: ‘Vibrant downtown experience’


Susie Bibler has kept busy since taking over as executive director of Main Street Delaware last October.

“When we moved here 17 years ago, there wasn’t a lot happening downtown. There were just a few restaurants. There is a lot going on today,” Bibler told members of the Delaware Rotary Club Monday afternoon.

Main Street Delaware has two major events — First Friday and the Farmers Market — designed to bring people downtown.

“Giving people a vibrant downtown experience is our goal,” Bibler said.

Main Street Delaware receives funding from several sources, including the City of Delaware, Delaware County as well as membership, private donations, and sponsorships.

Bibler said 2016 was a busy year with farmers markets held on 23 weeks. First Fridays drew 448 vendors. For the year, 265 volunteers assisted with the organization’s programs and services.

First Friday is a community block party hosted by Main Street Delaware, Inc. featuring a themed event the first Friday of each month. Events include themed activities, free children’s games, vendors and general promotions of the downtown. First Fridays are held every month, all year long.

The next First Friday theme is March for Art on March 3.

Keeping the downtown historic district attractive is also a priority. Capitalizing on its best assets, such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets, is just part of it.

“An inviting atmosphere, created through attractive window displays, parking areas, building improvements, street furniture, signs, sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping, conveys a positive visual message about the commercial district and what it has to offer.”

Residents and businesses also can purchase an engraved brick for $75 through the Brick Scape program.

There also are living spaces downtown that add to the experience, she said.

“We want to continue to make Delaware a great place to live, work and play,” Bibler said.

By Anthony Conchel

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Reach Anthony Conchel at 740-413-0900.

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