Cool Cars and Hot Rods paired with downtown effort

David Broyles

June 4, 2014

The Mount Airy Downtown Business Association announced at its regular meeting Tuesday morning it will pair its monthly cruise-ins with an ongoing “Saturday Stay Late” program.

According to President Phil Marsh, the first Mayberry Cool Cars & Hot Rods Cruise-In of the season is slated for June 21. He said on June 20 the automotive group “Red Rockers” will be traveling to Mount Airy as its last stop of a two-week tour which has covered 3,000 miles. Marsh said the group specializes in cars which are 100 years old and older.

Tentative plans call for the cars to begin arriving at 2 p.m. and will include Cadillacs, Packards and Rolls Royce cars. He said 25 cars are expected to participate. Marsh explained the Saturday Stay Late effort is seeking to get more businesses to stay open until 8 p.m. that Saturday and posters are being designed for participating merchants to display.

In earlier business, Vice President Jennie Lowry told the group a free shuttle to downtown Mount Airy will be offered at the Fiddler’s Convention at Veteran’s Park this Saturday. She said the service runs from the park from Wednesday to Saturday. The hours on Wednesday are from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. with the shuttle running from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Mainstreet Coordinator Lizzie Morrison gave an update on Mount Airy Downtown Incorporated (MAD) activities. She reported the group’s Facebook page has received 2,074 “likes” which is an increase of 90 from last month.

“We are beginning to have quite the social media following,” said Morrison. She reported Ted and Joe Reid had been re-elected to the MAD board of directors. Morrison reported local author Laura Wharton has written a selection of riddles to be used for a “Fiddle Riddle” map aimed at involving children in the fiddle crawl public art display.

She said plans include having a blank fiddle on the back of the map so children may design their own fiddle and the maps will be distributed to stores interested in giving them to customers. Morrison also reported the group is seeking more facade grant applications.

Morrison explained the effort is a matching grant program and that participants may qualify without doing a full rehabilitation project. She explained Mount Airy Downtown (MAD) is working on simplifying the current 196-page guide listing requirements for facade rehabilitation and predicted the simplification process will take time.

She encouraged existent businesses to fill out an online application at Morrison will then evaluate and assist applicants before the application moves on to the planning department for review and approval. She also pointed out North Carolina’s Mainstreet Program has two designers who can help businesses in the program design major facade upgrades free of charge and that she would be glad to help those interested in this.

Marsh, Morrison and Lowry also encouraged members to begin looking at the annual July 4 parade and said that applications for participants will be available later this week at locations including the Mount Airy Visitor’s Center, Toyland and the DBA office as well as online.

Lowry said the theme for this year’s parade is “The Spirit of America’s Hometown.” The dates for the next sidewalk sale and fashion show hare set for August 2. Marsh also reported Farm Fest had a good turnout and that he felt the pony rides and the children’s train went over especially well. He said organizers are looking at adding a petting zoo for next year’s festival.

She said new business opening soon included Designer Trading Company (apparel), Mama C’s Crafts (craft supply and art studio), McArthur’s on Main (retail and cafe) and The Blue Rabbit (an art gallery and studio). Business recently opened included Be Yourself Yoga Studio, Hillbilly Ice & Creamery and B’s Treasures. Lowry reported the group’s total income for May was $3,478.84 with a net income of $716.21 after expenses.

David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.