Many of the downtown activities from years past will be hosted again this spring and summer as well. The first full weekend in June brings the annual Van Wert Peony Festival and ArtRageous on Main, which are hosted in Fountain Park. Activities during this festival weekend include free kids activities, car show, artist and craft exhibitors, and the kick off to the Fountain Park Summer Concert Series that Friday evening, June 7th. The Market on Main which began last summer as a weekly outdoor market returns in front of the County Courthouse May 31st. Each Friday the market will feature growers, vendors, crafters, musicians and artisans of all kinds. A new downtown promotion running through August is the “I Shop Downtown” customer card program, with over 30 downtown businesses participating. These yellow cards can be filled out each time you shop, dine, or pick up your dry-cleaning downtown. Once complete, turn them into the MSVW office to be entered into monthly drawings for gift certificates and merchandise.
The Downtown Comprehensive Plan is nearly complete, winding down several months work of surveys, market studies, interviews with business owners and customers, and documenting the conditions of buildings and infrastructure. Some of the more exciting elements of this plan are renderings from a professional landscape architect transforming the ideas that were generated into images transforming what our downtown could look like. Although still conceptual images, many of the elements discussed included more plants and green space, more defined entrances into downtown, and making sure the district is as walkable as possible. After all, these historic buildings were built for decades before an automobile ever drove down Main Street. It will be the goal of the Main Street Van Wert organization to plan our projects and activities each year from this Comprehensive Plan, steadily transforming these concepts into a more beautiful and better functioning city center in which the entire community takes pride.