Group aiming to rejuvenate downtown

Published 4:40 pm Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A group of Luverne merchants have come together in hopes of rejuvenating downtown.

The committee held its first meeting last week and has already made great strides toward making improvement.

“Sherry (Prevett), Martha Dickey and I have been talking about trying to get downtown rejuvenated,” said Gary Mitchell of G. Mitchell Gallery. “We have a lot of empty buildings, and we would love to get more foot traffic.”

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Mitchell said the vision is to see downtown thriving again.

“I grew up here,” he said. “When I was a teenager, you couldn’t even get through here. It was bustling. We want to get more businesses downtown.”

Mitchell, who recently opened a gallery near Watts Insurance, said that’s something he hoped could happen.

The committee, which will be made up of downtown merchants, will work to try to get more people downtown and more businesses.

“We’re going to try to have things throughout the year,” he said. “Not just every now and then. We want to draw people into town regularly.”

Their first event will be an Easter celebration on April 12.

“We’ll have the Easter bunny and an Easter egg hunt downtown,” he said.

Looking ahead, Mitchell said the year’s big event will be a Founder’s Day celebration in June to celebrate the city’s 125th anniversary.

The event will be held June 13-14.

“We’ll have a street dance and some performers on the 13th,” he said. “The big day will be the 14th. We’ve come up with some ideas. We want some vendors, and an antique car show, a 5K run and some contests throughout the day.”

Still, they need merchants to volunteer.

“It’s a city-wide thing,” he said. “The city celebration will benefit all.”

The next meeting will be March 25, at 6 p.m., at the General Store.

For more information, call Prevett at 304-0099 or Mitchell at 301-3337.