The guys that brought you bacon fest… and everything else cool going on in Easton

The guys that brought you bacon fest... and everything else cool going on in Easton

Mari Otto

Photo Courtesy of  eastonmainstreet.org

You can’t miss the quirky, colorful stickers in the windows of vacant buildings walking through Downtown Easton.

Each decal’s goal is to inspire the community in economic growth and entrepreneurship with witty business proposals. While most can no longer recall Easton’s darker days, it seems only fair to ask: to whom do we attribute this revival?

The Easton Main Street Initiative (EMSI) is a non-profit organization working to preserve as well as rejuvenate Downtown Easton as a tourist destination of historical and architectural wealth, with excellent shopping and dining. The EMSI attributes its many successes, which include the weekly Farmer’s Market, Garlic Festival, Haunted Easton, and Peace Candle Lighting, to its four-point business plan: organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring.

“In the early 2000s, the mayor engaged a number of community members to bring the program back so in 2005, this large group of volunteers got together and started to work out a plan on what our assets were and what we should be building on and getting the program up and running again,” Easton Main Street Initiative Manager Kim Kmetz said.

By collaborating with local businesses in the area, the EMSI has been restructuring Easton into a charming city all the while supporting and promoting its economy.

While the EMSI sponsors and organizes many of the city’s largest events and attractions, it is also accountable for little things that promoted a united community. From the aforementioned window stickers, to setting up newspaper boxes throughout the downtown area, improving the exterior of buildings, exhibiting sculptures, establishing book exchange posts, and holding Jazz concerts in the summertime. The EMSI also made Easton’s attractions more accessible by creating directories and creating an EMSI smartphone app. EMSI even publishes a quarterly newsletter keeping all its citizens posted on “What’s Up Downtown”.

Yet the organization does not stand alone in its efforts to restore Easton’s renaissance. Volunteers from the city and college hill donate large amounts of time to plant flowers,  vendor at food tents, or even help out at Lafapalooza & Easton’s City Wide Clean-up Day.

EMSI also has events in the works for Spring 2014.

“Right now there is a spring retail and restaurant event scheduled for Saturday, April 12,” Kmetz said. “It is a way of showcasing our growing retail scene. People are aware of our restaurants but we are trying to make them more aware of the shopping experience down here.”

There is also the historic house tour on Saturday, May 3. A big fundraiser for EMSI, it is a tour of seven private homes and three public spaces including some spaces on Lafayette’s campus.

It is not only the effort of the Easton Main Street Initiative, but instead the little things; the many helping hands and contributions that together achieve the large goals that revived yesterday’s Easton into its promising present.