Downtown association organizes events, self

Published 7:05 pm Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Downtown Merchants Association met in the General Store Tuesday evening.

Downtown Merchants Association met in the General Store Tuesday evening.

A loose confederation of store owners in downtown Luverne took steps toward becoming something more Tuesday night when it elected officers and adopted an official name: the Downtown Merchants Association.

President Justin Bradley, owner of Paisley’s Petals, said the group has gone by several names in the few months it’s met, but that an official name needed to be chosen in order to establish a bank account with money from fundraisers.

The association raised more than $50 at an Easter egg hunt it organized in the downtown alleys April  12.

Bradley said almost 50 children came to downtown to hunt for eggs, take pictures with the Easter Bunny and and participate in a “bunny walk” with prizes.

More then a dozen downtown businesspeople attended Tuesday’s meeting.

Bradley was elected president with Sherry Prevett elected vice president, Nikki Bozeman elected secretary, and Patty Bees elected treasurer.

Most of the meeting was spent planning the organization’s next event, a downtown founder’s day celebration which will span two days and several blocks of downtown Luverne.

On Friday, June 13, two bands will perform live in opposite corners of the downtown area, but Saturday, June 14, is when the the association will host magic shows, carriage rides, an Elvis impersonator, a beauty pageant, a car show, a cake walk, face painting and more.

The event will block off the downtown from Alabama 10 to Sixth Avenue, but Legrande Avenue will remain passable, Bradley said.

The association debated how many bands to include and whether to limit the festivities to Saturday only, but a vote decided to maintain the current plan.

“We have been advertising Friday night,” Martha Dickey said. “I think we need to follow through on that.”

Dickey is the owner of 61 on Main.

The association meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. And welcomes anyone with an interest in seeing downtown Luverne improved.