Thanks to the many volunteers for making Jefferson the best place to be on Oct. 21-23 for the Main Street Iowa Fall Workshop. Every detail was perfect from the tour at The Forge on Monday night, welcome from Jeff from Jefferson, refreshments served during the workshop, beautiful decorations at the Elk’s and History Boy, Jeff Bucks, swag bags, food and drinks for the evening event at History Boy, panel discussion on Wed., introductory video for tours, and tours of the downtown. All of these happened because of planning and creativity of our volunteers. But the overwhelming sentiment of civic pride and welcoming was evident by the participants. The comments to Peg personally were that Jefferson volunteers & businesses emitted a singular message – civic pride and we want you to be here.
What the other Main Street communities also experienced in Jefferson were the baby steps that were taken to come to this now beautiful and progressive downtown and community. They noticed the banners, flowers, public art, TJ Gardens, Mahanay Bell Tower view and music, awesomeness of RVP~1875 & History Boy Theatre, gorgeous courthouse, window displays, alley projects, scarecrows, wayfinding signs, and renovations of buildings- both completed and in the works. They understood that partnerships make things happen here. These projects have happened over time, and this was a perfect chance to let more people know what Jefferson is all about.
Evaluation comments were so positive about not only the event but the hospitality shown. Many Main Street directors are envious of the obvious involvement of our volunteers.
The evaluation also compiled what was spent here – close to $13,000 and didn’t include shopping after the workshop concluded on Wednesday early afternoon. Many commented they would be bringing their families and friends back again for a longer visit.
Jefferson is identified as a model for rural communities. We have received many calls and visits to visit with leaders on how we are doing it. Let’s keep this momentum going!
The banner in Homestead that states – Every Day is Your Day to Make Our City Better – was among the pictures that I saw on other Main Street community’s Facebook pages. It really does take a village.