Sykesville business group talks shop Association plans flags, festival

June 27, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The new members of the Sykesville Business Association met formally for the first time Thursday. In between comparisons of whose windows looked cleaner, they got down to the business of generating more interest in the town.

Action by Craig Taylor, antiques and clock shop owner and the new association president, generated all the window talk. More than 30 town businesses have joined the association since Mr. Taylor became president June 9 and drew them in with a sign-up offer they couldn't refuse: he does windows.

He offered another drawing card. The town's annual fall festival attracts thousands of people, and Mr. Taylor presented plans to make this year's 20th festival bigger and better than ever.

"Festivals attract people to areas they might not otherwise visit," Mr. Taylor said. "We have an opportunity to bring 10,000 people here, and we shouldn't pass that up."

The association, which profits from vendor fees, has hired Janet Hartwell, a county resident, as the festival promoter.

Previous festivals have accommodated about 70 vendors. Ms. Hartwell plans to triple that number.

She has measured 207 10-by-10-foot spots along Main Street and has found nearby spots where she could assign about 30 more, she said.

"I mailed information to several hundred vendors and we are dTC filling up fast," she said.

Mr. Taylor said organizers will close Main Street and some of the town's parking lots to traffic during the festival because "vendors will be up, down, in and around Main Street."

Handicapped parking will be available at St. Paul's United Methodist lot.

"We will keep as much other parking as possible," Mr. Taylor said. "Visitors may have to walk, but we can promise them it will be worth it."

Brian Beck, co-owner of E. W. Beck's Pub, will be festival chairman. Interested vendors can call him or Ms. Hartwell at 549-9480.

The association also plans to advertise its membership in the September town newsletter, Mr. Taylor said.

"We are listing all association members, and asking residents to shop with their friends and neighbors," he said.

Plans are in place, too, to "flag" the town.

Each business can purchase a flag with personalized logos from Kim Miller, owner of Main Street Dry Goods.

"By fall, we should look like an old-fashioned New England town with flags on every business," Mr. Taylor said.

Stickers touting "Historic Sykesville, Close Yet A Century Away" should be available by mid-August.

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