Opp Chamber tweaking ‘Downtown’ event

Published 3:16 am Saturday, June 1, 2019

After having a successful first Downtown Get Down, Opp Area Chamber of Commerce director Kelly Brandin said that organizers are making some changes to make to next event even better.

“We did a survey sort of talking to people after the event,” Brandin said. “Just to find out what we could do better.”

After speaking with several people, the main concern was that people did not want to go inside restaurants to get food.

“Several people said that they wanted to be able to get food without having to get up and go into a restaurant,” Brandin said. “With that being said, we are going to have vendors now. Not a lot, maybe 10 or 12, just so we can have some stuff on the streets.”

Brandin said that another thing the people said was that it ended too soon.

“People told me that it just ended and they wanted more,” Brandin said. “Which is always a good thing. So we are going to push the time back to 8:30 p.m.”

Overall, Brandin said that the event was a success.

“People seemed to have fun,” Brandin said. “I think this is something that Opp has needed for a summer event. We have some fall events, but not really anything in the summer. I think it was nice that people were able to come out with their families and enjoy some good clean fun. The chamber sold glow necklaces, the Opp High School cheerleaders came out to paint faces and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority made a backdrop for people to take pictures in front of.”

Brandin said that they did not have vendors for the first Downtown Get Down because they were trying to put all of their focus on the local small businesses of Opp.

“It was during National Small Business Week,” Brandin said. “So our focus was on our small businesses downtown. Our focus is still going to be on downtown because we are trying to revitalize that, but our focus is also on community. There are actually three focuses, downtown redevelopment, our retailers and our community. We had several small businesses stay open during the event including Southern Style, Young’s Florists, A.J.’s Outdoors, S and D Flea Market, Sweet T’s, Tasty Treatz and Rancho Grande.”

The event is held in front of Danley Plaza in Opp, which Brandin said is a great location.

“We blocked off Main Street for one block so we could set up in front of Danley Plaza,” Brandin said. “People sat in the street with lawn chairs. I think that the people in attendance really enjoyed the set up because they were able to just spread out and sit wherever they wanted to. They were free to walk anywhere and they felt safe letting their kids walk anywhere on the street.”

The Straughn High School String Band performed for the first Downtown Get Down and Brandin said that they were phenomenal.

“There were 14 of them and several of them played multiple instruments,” Brandin said. “To me, it was just very neat to see them switch between the drums and keyboard and then to a banjo. They were very confident when they performed and they just did a great job.”

The next Downtown Get Down performance will be from the Ten Mile Branch Band.

The Opp Chamber of Commerce is currently looking for vendors for their next Downtown Get Down on June 21 from 6:30 p.m., until 8:30 p.m. The vendor application is available on their Facebook page.