Second Saturday another big success on square
By Kelsey Keny
Some people might view the second Saturday of a month as merely a halfway mark. With barbeque, live music, and even a few hula hoops, however, the Lewisburg Downtown Alliance has given this day a new meaning.
July 13 marked the LDA's third "Second Saturday" event this summer. Starting at 10 a.m. the eastern side of the square hosted vendors and giveaways for the community. The LDA coordinated the event with the Marshall County Old Car Club's Cruise-In to give people activities for the entire day.
The LDA. began the Second Saturdays program last year, after member Andrea Childress got the idea from a similar event in Florence, Ala. The goal is to draw people to downtown Lewisburg and support local businesses. While watching her daughters participate in the day's hula-hoop competition, she mentioned this year the LDA is working to expand the event, by arranging Second Saturdays with other local happenings and organizations.
The early afternoon held sounds of karaoke and the scent of barbeque. Before their praise band performed later that night, New Life Church gave away plates of pulled pork, baked beans, and potato salad. Member Adam Hayes leads a men's Bible study at church, but on Saturday grilling was his main job.
"We wanted to be a bigger part of the community," Hayes said. "We love being on the square, where things are happening and want to thank the LDA for letting us be a part of it."
Along the sidewalk, people could spend their money on baked goods, jewelry, clothing, and more. Vendor Judith Luna of Cedar Springs Clay and Image had pottery and photography for sale. This is her second time setting up at a Second Saturday. She said she stumbled across the event when going to the bank last May. She then decided to set up her own booth. Luna reflected on growing up here in town and added she is "excited to see more activity" on the square again.
The day continued as the Cruise-In had an earlier start than expected. With a scheduled start of 4 p.m., some classic automobiles came rolling in as early as 1:15, according to Marshall County Old Car Club member Edmund Roberts. He said that at least 93 cars were in attendance on Saturday, which is an improvement from some past months' records of about 60.
The success might be attributed to the partnership with Lyons Chevrolet Buick GMC, who gave out free barbeque sandwiches and ball caps.
Roberts said the Old Car Club was trying to support LDA activities, and by partnering they gave opportunities on the square all day.
LDA Chairman Leland Carden said over 300 people attended May's Second Saturday, which is the purpose of the program.
"We started Second Saturdays to encourage businesses opening downtown, to make people aware we have a beautiful square for opportunities and events."
Just across the street, one new Lewisburg business is a testament to those words. Sarah Coutu is the owner of The Sub Shop and 50's Ice Cream Parlor beside the Dixie Theatre. Since opening last month, Coutu said the efforts of the LDA. are a great community effort, especially for a starting business. She added she would like to see more people get involved in the activities, but those that have done so are "supportive, extra inviting, and all around good people."
Second Saturdays will continue through September. Carden said if the occasion grows, he would love for it to extend all around the square. The LDA will evaluate the program's success after September. Carden is optimistic.
"I think the way things are going, we'll be back next summer."