Downtown Fort Dodge is on the rebound. During the last two years, storefronts up and down Central Avenue and on nearby streets that have too long been vacant are once again coming to life commercially. The city's historic business district is becoming the home to an impressive array of new businesses. Many of these enterprises are exactly the type of family-owned and operated ventures that have long been a driving force in our nation's economy.
Last summer, Market on Central was launched. On selected Saturdays, it transformed the heart of the city into a bustling village of vendors, artisans, entertainers -and more. Saturday, Market on Central returns for an encore second season that promises to surpass the spectacular inaugural summer. This superb project will make the second and fourth Saturdays of June, July, August and September events for the whole family that should not be missed. Mark your calendars now so you won't fail to be part of the fun.
Market on Central offers exciting shopping, but it has an additional very serious purpose. It is helping to jump-start the small business component of the local economy. Cheryl O'Hern, who chairs Market on Central, pointed to this dimension of the endeavor in a Messenger column this past Sunday.
"Our Market on Central is much more than a great place for your family and to pick up produce and homemade items," she wrote. "It is also a revitalization of our Historic Downtown that shows how community support and creativity can reinvent the area and bring it back to life."
The Messenger heartily agrees.
Market on Central helps introduce shoppers to the potential of Central Avenue and nearby streets. It gives an eclectic assortment of vendors an opportunity to connect with folks who may find their wares impossible to resist. The owners of many of the small businesses featured in 2011 saw their participation lead to increased sales over the following months once shoppers learned what they had to offer. That's just one of the reasons that many are returning enthusiastically this year. They will be joined by a large assortment of new participants. The word is spreading fast that Market on Central is the place to be this summer.
Market of Central this week will whet your appetite to become a regular all summer long. Don't miss the seasonal launch of what is destined to become one of Fort Dodge's most treasured traditions.