First Posted: 8/2/2009
Anyone strolling along Main Street in Mount Airy Saturday certainly saw a curious sight dogs in baby carriages; canines all dressed up; dogs licking peanut butter off their owners faces; and a number of other activities centered around those four-legged friends.
It was the Dog Days of Summer, a program put on by the Downtown Business Association, and it was a time for dog owners to be able to bring out their pets for an excursion in downtown Mount Airy.
The event raised money for local animal adoption agencies, but it did much more. Dog Days was another way Mount Airy showed itself to be just a little different, to be a progressive town working hard to make itself accessible to just about anyone.
Local officials spend a great deal of time working on economic development, and rightfully so. There might be no greater pressing need for our community now. Such efforts often focus on attempting to land a larger industry, or on bringing in three or four small- to mid-sized businesses.
But simple little programs like Dog Days does the same thing. Not only does it bring a few more people to Mount Airy on the day of the event, but when you stack one program on top of another, people all around the region start thinking of Mount Airy as some place special, a town where they want to visit, just to see what else is going on.
And then, the areas much vaunted hospitality takes over, charming those visitors, and enticing them to stay longer, or return another day, all the while spending more money in the local economy.
Dog Days may have seemed like a simple little event without much larger, long-term consequences, but this is exactly the sort of activity which accomplishes this goal of spurring more visitors to come to Mount Airy.