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Downtown Emporia Looking Merry and Bright

Avatar photo by Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator | November 28, 2022
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Local Organization, Foundation and City Government Collaborate on Holiday Décor Refurbishment project.

Emporia, KS – As another Holiday season fast approaches, Emporia Main Street, The City of Emporia, and the Trusler Foundation have worked together to bring Upcycled Cheer to downtown.

Each year after Veterans Day, city crews spend several days installing over 350 Holiday decorations on lamp posts downtown to kick off the Holiday Season. Last year, an unseasonable windstorm (along with hail) swept through Emporia and destroyed the already aging décor. While preliminary discussions on new installations had already taken place, the timetable was moved forward to figuring out a cost-effective solution.

Both representatives from the City of Emporia and Emporia Main Street researched numerous options for décor replacement. The time frame, when coupled with supply chain shortages and inflationary pressures significantly drove up the price of replacement options. After reviewing several bids, the ultimate decision was made to work with, Klumpe Blacksmithing located in Olpe, KS, who had originally designed and built the previous decorations over 25 years ago.
This decision gave the city the opportunity to support an area business and recreate the Holiday décor at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

In addition to brining the Holiday spirit downtown for the community, creating an atmosphere that encourages spending, events, and both foot & vehicular traffic is critical to business success.

“Downtown serves as a home for many entrepreneurial businesses that retain dollars in the local region,” said Casey Woods, Executive Director for Emporia Main Street. “Holiday decorations generate noticeable enhancements for local businesses in the form of consumer interactions and create a positive economic impact for our local businesses.”
Financial support for the refurbishment project came from a specialized grant through the City of Emporia and a grant from The Trusler Foundation.

“The original decorations that were installed over 20 years ago, were a collaborative effort between The City of Emporia, Emporia Main Street, and the Trusler Foundation,” explained Woods. “We are happy to be able to work with these partners again to provide a merry and bright downtown for the community.”

For more information on the project, please contact Emporia Main Street at 620-340-6430.

About the Author

Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator

Jessica Buchholz is the Community Development Coordinator for Emporia Main Street in Emporia, Kansas. She specializes in event planning, volunteer recruitment, alternative marketing, media/public relations and fundraising. During Jessica's tenure at Emporia Main Street, she has helped grow events to an international level and she has created a series of new activities to meet organizational goals.