GALION — Miranda Jones takes her job title seriously.
As the member engagement director of the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce, Jones is trying to get members of the chamber more involved and in tune with what’s going on in this community.
She is on a mission to spread the word about the good things Galion offers.
Hence, the idea behind the Third Friday in Galion initiative she is spearheading.
“People are always saying their is nothing to do here,” Jones said. “This is a way to get them to come to the uptowne area and see what’s up here.”
The first Third Friday in Galion program is May 19; the second June 16; followed by July 21 and August 18.
Each program will have a theme. The first is an End of the School Year Celebration; followed by Safety Services Appreciation Night; a Summer Baseball Celebration; and Back to School Bash – Stuff the Bus party to end the summer.
The May 19 End of the School Year Celebration will include local music at the gazebo on the square. The music starts at 4:30 p.m. with students from Galion Primary School and ends at 8 p.m.
“Our goal is to collaborate with the local schools, preschools and day-cares to get their students involved,” Jones said. “We already have commitments from a few area schools and the schedule is filling up fast.”
The final act is a rock ensemble from Richland Academy.
“We’re hoping everyone who comes up here to watch the entertainment will stick around and look around so they can see what’s up here.” Jones said. “We want to get people to come up here and we hope they will support the local merchants.”
Jones says people who’ve not spent a lot of time in Uptowne Galion in recent years will be surprised what they will find.
“We have a lot of unique shops,” she said. “There are nice restaurants. Art is another focus. We’ve got coffee shops. A lot of people have no idea those things are up here.
“If you’ve not been to the Evergreen in a while, you need to stop in. Since the Copper Horse moved a cross the street, it’s beautiful in there.”
Jones has spent a lot of time in recent weeks going door-to-door trying to convince business owners, merchants and retailers to stay open until 8 p.m. the day of the event. She hopes they’ll do something special to entice visitors to stick around for a little while.
Most of the action will be from Union Street east to Liberty Street.
Special events such as sales, drink specials and meals will will hopefully entice people to stick around for more than just the time it takes to see their kids or relatives perform.
There will be local vendors set up in the parking area on the north end of the square. A few of the participants planning to set up shop are God’s Little Acre farmer’s market, Pickle Run Festival organizers and the Experience Galion group.
Traffic on Harding Way West will not be affected during the event.
However, North Market Street will be closed from Harding Way to the alley behind United Bank and Spectrum. There also will be a special staging area established next to Spectrum where kids can be dropped off and collected after their performanceso.
Jones is a Bellville native who has adopted Galion as her home town. She moved here several years ago. She worked at the Big Plate Diner in one of the apartments above the Galion Inquirer. She is very familiar with the uptowne area.
“I’m passionate about Galion,” she said. “There are a lot of good things going on. I want people who live here to be proud of their community. The best way to do that is to make them more aware of the good things that we have.
She points to the success of Galion’s revived Pickle Run Festival and how much it has grown in just two years.
“I hope this thing snowballs like Pickle Run did,” she said. “If in a couple years it grows so big we need a lot more volunteers to make it happen, that will be a great thing.”
For more information on TFIG, check out the group’s Facebook page, or the Galion-Crestline Chamber of Commerce website. If you want more information or are interested in becoming a sponsor or a vendor, contact Miranda Jones via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the chamber office at 419-468-7737.