On September 18th, Main Street Gettysburg (MSG) hosted a discussion with 18 community and business people to discuss the “state of the economy” in 2018. Perspectives were varied from “business is booming” to “business is slower than last year.” The views about why were diverse. Common themes included considering new parking scenarios such as increasing 2-hour parking, employee permitting, and better long-term signage.
The most common theme centered around creating memorable experiences for customers. Some business owners talked about in the past, sales occurred by standing behind the register while people browse and purchased your product. Things have changed. It’s now about creating interactive experiences with customers. This is not only creating an environment that attracts people to town, but also using your ingenuity to make your business unique to bring patrons through your door. Targeting the 5 senses of a customer helps envelop the customer into the atmosphere of your store. The smell, sound, view, feel and if possible, taste, of products make people want to stay and shop.
On December 1, downtown Gettysburg has become the place to be with thousands of Facebook followers planning on attending A Gettysburg Christmas Festival event.. There is an old saying that “Success is being prepared for unexpected opportunities” and December 1 will be that unexpected opportunity for our community. Hotels are filling and inquiries about parking, festival activities, etc. indicate people are coming.
How can we prepare for this opportunity of excited festival attendees?
1) Commitment. The festival hours are December 1 from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. People are traveling to come to this event and want to have things to do to make their trip worthwhile. We ask everyone to have their businesses open the hours of the event. We know people will be in town to provide you the opportunity to get them through your doors.
2) Fun. Gettysburg is special in and of itself. The festival is a community-wide event and if the community is engaged and having fun, it will be a memorable experience for everyone. With our community spirit and cheer, we can all have a great time.
3) Stay informed. To keep up-to-date on the event, please go to the website. Since this is a grassroots initiative, there are a lot of moving parts. There are 6 themed areas with block captains coordinating the activities. As new ideas arise, they are added to the website. A parking strategy is underway thanks to HACC and Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tours. As things are finalized, we will add information like parking to the website. We need everyone informed to ensure we can answer questions for the attendees.
4) Volunteers/Sponsorships. Roger Lund, owner of The Christmas Haus, is leading this event, and notes that volunteers and sponsorships are necessary for this Festival to work. Anyone interested in volunteering please contact Main Street Gettysburg at 717-337-3491 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also looking for sponsors for signs, port-a-pots and other amenities to make the festival happen.
For years, people have talked about resurrecting a town-wide Christmas event such as the Yuletide Festival that occurred in the 80’s and 90’s. To do this has required the willingness of a united team to pull the community together. Here is the opportunity to make this festival a tradition. We need your help. Thank you.