On a day that looked like it was destined to be blasted by thunder storms and rain, what started out as a potential bust quickly turned into a boom as the evening sky's cleared over downtown Chatham. The Strip Mall event which happened in the late afternoon of Friday, July 18, 2018, was a roaring success for local businesses, vendors, and other partner organizations.
"The moment the rain stopped and the sun came out, people flocked to the downtown core and Tecumseh park" said Moréna McDonald, event organizer and owner of 519 Events and Promotions. "It was a wonderful to see the bustling action with our 20 businesses partners that agreed to stay open late and the vendors that were in the park."
The Strip Mall which combines a variety of local artisans and merchants along with Chatham's historic downtown core, also partnered with Thames Art Gallery ARTspace for the annual Art crawl, the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre, and a busy lawn bowling event by Lawn Summer Nights.
"The evening went really well and I was happy with the amount of people that came through. We got some sales and some future work, so we were happy overall and we would for sure do something like this again" said John Fry from JM Fry Furniture Design.
"It went over really good, I was impressed with the turnout. There was lots of people downtown, I was only expecting a little bit but I ended up seeing a few hundred. I was glad I stayed open and will do this again next year for sure" said Régine Evans from Régine Fine Chocolate.
The event featured something for people of all ages, from face painting, magic, and music, to an outrageous photo booth trailer designed in a 1950's style motif, to a first-time photography vendor from the Chatham-Kent Summer Company student program, this eclectic mix showed some of the best of southern Ontario.
"Chatham-Kent has a lot to offer, especially when we work together, which is why I'm thrilled that the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre was able to be a part of the Strip Mall event. I really hope that we can make this partnership work again next year, and maybe even expand it to include even more organizations." said Don Shropshire, CAO, Chatham-Kent.
Mark Reinhart, Coordinator of Community Art and Outreach at the Thames Art Gallery, said "Chasing the moments where art, the creative economy, and community engagement intersect; the ARTcrawl animated the colourful potential we have when we come together, work together, and celebrate. As folks wandered downtown and found art in unexpected places, they too experienced the foundation of a revitalized art event that is hungry to evolve in the years to come. Crawl with us and our inspired community partners, and let's reimagine what it means to come together in Chatham-Kent."
For more information about the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre and to see additional upcoming event, please visit the Facebook page.
- Jeremy Wolting, Wolting Photography, showing some of his prints he had for sale at the Strip Mall
Learn more about Chatham-Kent Economic Development on our website: http://www.investck.ca
Marketing and Communications Officer, Economic Development Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Phone: 519-352-8401 x2039