WADSWORTH — Community volunteers and employees from Heritage Ohio’s Main Street programs from around the state will descend Thursday for quarterly revitalization training geared at growing strong Main Streets.
“Heritage Ohio is the parent organization of Ohio’s 23 Main Street communities, of which Wadsworth is one,” Main Street Wadsworth Executive Director Adrianne Krauss said Tuesday.
There are four training sessions each year, with the state’s Main Street communities taking turns hosting the quarterly events. Open to Main Street volunteers, stakeholders and employees from across the state, the event will focus on the promotional aspect of being an active Main Street community. The event is not open to the public.
The event will be hosted at Crossroads Community Church, 118 High St., Wadsworth. Mayor Robin Laubaugh will deliver the opening remarks, with Main Street volunteers and community members taking turns giving presentations.
Promotion will be the theme of the training, which Krauss said is the third point of a four-point trademarked approach designed for comprehensive downtown revitalization.
“The promotion committee is in charge of everything to do with events and marketing, really promoting our downtown to the community and outside the community,” she said.
Main Street Wadsworth promotes its brands through social media, blogs, local media and even the Fred Martin Superstore billboard located along Interstate 76.
“All of these tools are being used to try and reach all of the different demographics, young and old, to bring everyone down to enjoy our free, family-oriented events,” Krauss said.
Wadsworth City Councilman and Main Street Wadsworth volunteer Tom Stugmyer said he will present about the importance of using existing connections to put together unforgettable downtown events.
“I am going to speaking when we did our May the Fourth be With You First Friday, and we brought in NASA and moon rocks and those things from NASA Glenn,” Stugmyer said Tuesday.
“I am also going to be speaking on when we brought all the balloons in and how we worked with the airport in conjunction of their event on the weekend.
Stugmyer said he was able to make connections with Wadsworth native astronaut Mike Forman and Michele Lucas from the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland during a previous event.
“We just didn’t decide to reach out,” he said. “It is like hey, how can we craft this event around who we might know.”
Stugmyer said it was a similar situation when Main Street Wadsworth hosted a balloon liftoff last summer. He used established connections with Wadsworth Municipal Airport and determined having a hot-air balloon themed event downtown could be a benefit to all parties involved.
“The balloons normally come in Friday for a Saturday morning launch (at the airport),” Stugmyer said. “They are going to be here, that helps us, that helps them and it helps the city.”
“It is just kind of a win-win for everybody,” he added.
Wadsworth-based videographer and owner of SHE Did it Videography Jenny Dulac will also serve as one of the event’s featured speakers.
Dulac said she will explain to the audience just how important creating videos can be to a Main Street community.
Her recent videos of Wadsworth have been viewed thousands of times online, something she said won’t necessarily happen with a live video of a community event.
“If you can find somebody in the community who is a videographer, or up and coming or someone going to school or has an interest in learning, tapping into those resources is important,” she said.
The promotions aspect of a Main Street community represents the surface of revitalization and preservation work that is being completed behind the scenes.
For information or reservations, call Main Street Wadsworth at (330) 331-4414.
“It is really a way for us to provide best practices about what Wadsworth does well so that other Main Street communities can learn from us and provide similar strong events in their own communities,” Krauss said of the training.