I believe that there are several purposes of my doing this article. One is to help and promote the downtown and the other is to keep you, the community, informed. Keeping this in mind, I thought I’d begin with the fun.
There are several events coming up, and just in time. These long and now COLD winters can be brutal and we have something to break this up. Friday, Feb. 8 is Downtown Rhinelander’s Taste of Chocolate. It happens from 5 to 8 p.m. The $5 ticket not only enters you in the Printpack $1,000 Downtown Bucks drawing, but allows you to taste what the 30 participating businesses have come up with to make this evening truly spectacular. Of course, there is the chocolate in every way, shape and form, and there will also be entertainment. Northern Coffee Haus and Bucketheads will have music to enhance your experience. And what an opportunity to shop! Don’t forget Valentine’s Day is the next week; this could be your date night. I know several groups of friends who have decided that it’s a perfect group outing.
Next, mark your calendar for the 2nd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This is set for Saturday, March 16. Last year, there were 42 entrants and they are looking to have more this time. Anyone can be in the parade, so if you are interested, please call Jack (715) 369-3030. Plans are still being finalized and will include a pub crawl, raffles and music. I’ll keep you posted.
As for Downtown Rhinelander Inc., we have been busy with several projects, including the events. We are currently soliciting sponsors for Hodags on Parade. This year, we are proud to introduce the mini-Hodag. This smaller version is 3 feet long by 27 inches high, the perfect size to place in your garden, on your lawn, in front of or inside of your business. We are asking for $500 to be a sponsor of the program. This means that in addition to one large Hodag, there will be 10 mini-Hodags to display around downtown. It also means that the Hodag Howl auction in the fall is going to be pretty exciting. In addition to sponsors, we will be needing artists. If you are interested, please give the DRI office a call at (715) 362-7374.
We have also been busy with our revolving loan program, Downtown Works. This program offers low- interest loans to downtown businesses. We have just completed three new loans and another business has asked for an application.
We have just begun reworking our website, so we ask you to be patient; but once completed, everything you would like to know should be covered there. Our Facebook page is also becoming more active, so please check it out. It would give me great pleasure to say, “You like us, you really, really like us.” (Thanks, Sally Field). Another communications piece coming in early February is our newsletter. “What’s Up Downtown” will be making its debut.
One more announcement: At this week’s Downtown Rhinelander Inc. board meeting, I was selected to be the permanent executive director. I am honored, excited and looking forward to working with everyone not only downtown, but in the community. Thank you for all the help and support.
Maggie Steffen is the executive director of Downtown Rhinelander Inc. and is available at the Rhinelander Main Street office, located at 21A S. Brown Street. Call her at (715) 362-7374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.