National Main Street Week is coming to Middlesboro

Published 7:01 am Friday, April 28, 2023

BY JOANIE JASPER

Main Street Middlesboro

What’s, up Middlesboro? Monday, May 8 through Saturday, May 13 is National Main Street Week. Be watching our Facebook page to see how you can win some really cool Main Street swag. I would also like you to email me and tell me about your favorite Main Street shop and/or event. I also would love for you to share stories from past years.

Saturday, May 13 at 11 a.m., we welcome Ooh La La Boutique to our Main Street District. Come join the celebration. This is also a perfect day to be downtown and finish your Mother’s Day shopping.

Thursday, May 18 at 11 a.m., the Levitt Committee will be hosting all of the sponsors for this year’s Middlesboro Levitt AMP Concert Series for a delicious lunch cooked by Chef Jamie Jones and to reveal the artist lineup for the concert series.

Saturday, May 20, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Cumberland Avenue from 19th to Shades will be the Crusin’ the Crater Car Show.

There will a lot of cool cars, good music, a chance to win some cash and yummy food from Hillbilly Q.

Doug Bayless with Vets Serving Vets mentioned that his group will be on their corner making smash burgers and hot fudge cake.

Saturday, May 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. Cody Joe Hodges will be on the Stage at Levitt Park to help us salute our veterans and active military members. This is a free concert, so make plans to join us.

Tuesday, May 30, from 6 to 8 p.m., Connect @ 6 will be the place to come and hang out with some Main Street members and local businesses.

What’s up, Middlesboro? April has been fun, but the fun is just starting in downtown. Today there is the annual fishing event and the Community Clean Up. Then tonight on the Avenue between 20-21 will be full of fun with the MHS Senior BBQ Bash. I am looking forward to hanging out and helping the seniors celebrate. They say it will make me feel young, but we will see when I go to get up on Sunday.

May starts Monday, so let’s talk about some events that will be happening: Thursday, May 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will be our Out of This World Shopping Night for May. Come out, have an early dinner and then do some shopping with our downtown businesses. Remember Mother’s Day is May 14, so let our amazing shop owners help you get the perfect gift.

So you can see that Middlesboro Main Street really is a great place to hang out.

Now that you know things that are happening downtown in May, I will just share some things that have been on my mind. As I have mentioned we have a wait list to bring businesses downtown. That is really a great situation, but without ready buildings it is a big struggle. Now I am in close contact with one building owner and they are working hard to get three spaces ready, which will be awesome. Now, there is one space downtown that from the outside looks ready, but actually there is some issues that need to be fixed before a business could go in there. This week I received a call from one business owner that informed me that the building she is renting is leaking and the structure is not stable. This issue is a real problem. My opinion is if you have someone paying rent for your building it needs to be in good shape. If you have someone coming to your own home don’t you like to have everything nice for them?

Don’t you take some extra time to make sure it is clean and safe? I am sure that you would not have anything that could cause harm to your guest. If you said you do those things (I hope you at least said yes to the last question), then you should have your buildings in clean and safe shape. Some of these buildings have people living in the apartments on upper levels. I am pretty sure that you would not live in them or let your children live in them in the condition they are in. If a building owner is receiving apartment rent and business rent, they should be held responsible to make repairs. A really great opportunity is that these buildings are in a Historical District, so there are tax credits to help with repairs. There are people with the State Historical Preservation office to help with the State tax credit and even help with the federal tax credit. If building owners do not take care of their buildings we will have more buildings like the Elks building. Like me, I am sure that you don’t want to see that happen again. Getting building owners to step up to clean and fix their buildings is not just a downtown issue, but a town issue. With our town starting to improve with new businesses- we will see more visitors and possibly new residents, so we need to work together to make our town look good. Your help can start just by picking up trash that you see on the sidewalk.

Main Street is always looking for volunteers who can help us with pulling weeds, watering plants, and keeping the sidewalks looking clean. I know some of you are saying “That is not my job.” Well, that is true, but it is your community. When people come to town it is like someone visiting your home. So helping us keep things spruced up will show our visitors that we care about our town.

I am stepping off my soapbox for today. Please know that my words are not meant to be rude to anyone, but to let them know that they are an important part in making Middlesboro a great place to live and visit. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to send me an email me at downtownmiddlesboro@gmail.com.