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For The Love…

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | April 18, 2019
Between the news, the weather, and the constant pressure to succeed, many entrepreneurs can lose sight of what is going right with their community.  So, we asked people what they loved about the area, and what they loved about downtown.  We got a solid response rate from locals that really like what you are up to…  Check out the responses below:


We love the Community, downtown, mobilizing literacy group, EAC, all the fun activities and events around to do as a family! The gymnastics and dance groups. The rec center, Definitely the skating rink, Farmers market, Our local library. 
Friendly, hardworking,fun to hangout with,the people who call Emporia “home” is what I love!
I love the support for all the community organizations. Our community always pulls together, and supports one another.
Small that you actually know the people in the town.
Bigger town but with a small town atmosphere.
I love the closeness of family and friends. Emporia is growing all the time but still small enough that you can go just about anywhere and run into someone you know.
I love that Emporia supports their locals and small business. Emporia is a great town to raise a family, they are a small town with great people in  it!
How our community is very welcoming and supports everything local.
The atmosphere. Everyone is laid back and easy going. The trees and rivers are wonderful!
Even though I live in KC, I love to go back to E Town and visit family and friends. I love driving around in my old neighborhood and touring ESU, my alma mater. I really enjoy the 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon. Since Emporia is small, there is always a friendly connection to Emporians. I love the Flint Hills where my family homesteaded many years ago.
I love that Emporia is the center of it all. Small town feel but big enough to be amazing.
The people are really nice & willing to help each other out. Also, the small town feel is really comforting while there is also things to do.
I love how involved the community is with the college and vice versa. From the block party to internships to student discounts, I feel like Emporia and ESU work together in a way that is more rare than one might think.
I love all of the cool events that get put on throughout our community and the university! I think everyone works cohesively to provide activities for all age levels in this community.
I like the size of Emporia! You don’t know everyone but you know enough people to feel safe. I also love how people are pretty low maintenance.
I love how much Emporia feels like home. The small town vibes are amazing and I love that it’s a safe place to live.
I love it’s size and local businesses.
I love the events Emporia sponsors and brings to town.  Like disc golf and Dirty Kanza bike ride.  The parks are beautiful and the town has a small town feel.
I love how many parks Emporia has, the town really comes alive when the weather is nice with disc golf, the DK, walkers and joggers. Emporia has a great small town feel but still had exciting event going on and the community is very close.
The locals, the food, Emporia State, the water, the back roads
The close community and the abundance of events!
How nice everyone is
I love that Emporia is a hipstery town. I love that the community is so involved with the college and vice versa.
The local food, Flint Hills, downtown events
Pretty much everything!  I’ll never understand why anyone wants to live anywhere else. We have a great history, there are always unique events to watch and/or participate in. Our downtown is always changing and growing with unique and fun places to shop. Having the University here is amazing too!
I love the versatility. You can usually find something to do whether that be hanging at a coffee shop or visiting the boutiques!
How lively it is! How clean it is! The endless opportunities and activities involving the community!!
I love the historical nature of downtown Emporia. All the old buildings continuing to house an eclectic variety of businesses. The old style light poles & flower gardens add to the historic atmosphere and help make Emporia’s downtown attractive & charming.
All of the fun activities, and events that help to build Emporia.
Something is always going on downtown.
All the different shops and friendly staff.
The excitement of events. There is always something going on or being planned. The events are exciting enough to bring people from surrounding communities and help support our local businesses.
I love how convenient everything and there is something for everyone. Main street is kept very clean and well kept!
Always something going on.
There is ALWAYS something to do. If you are bored living in Emporia, it is your own fault.
Being able to window shop and go from store to store back in the day when I lived in Emporia, I loved the sidewalk sales and parades.
I love that it is improving and evolving.
I love the decorations for the seasons & the attention taken to details (flower beds & upkeep) & events (parades & celebrations).
I love how downtown feels! Small businesses populating such a cozy area makes me smile. I love that the business owners recognize students (sometimes by selling or showcasing their art!).
I love the fact that the businesses are all connected through one organization. Main Street does a phenomenal job of keep our community a community. They link businesses together and program events that help everything feel a sense of family in this downtown area.
I love the coffee shops 🙂 I also love how pretty our main street is !!
Soul Ride and Gravel City Roasters are my favorite shops downtown. I also love the pet store and Mauds tattoo shop. They are always filled with wonderful people and the energy is great.
I love the urge for local businesses and shopping local. Also, I love the events held down town to encourage community pride.
Bobby D’s!  Also love the activity when the farmers market is open
I love the block parties with lots of food and beverages for the adults, I love the local businesses and restaurants and being able to walk up and down Commercial for an afternoon.
I love Commercial Street!
The local businesses that are all over downtown and the history behind it.
The feeling of community that you get being downtown!!!
Gravel City Roasters & antique stores!
Active (not many empty stores), EFF, outside events
I love Koch Gifts, and of course all things Granada, sweet and otherwise!  I LOVE our Main Street crew and how hard they work to make amazing events like the DK, Great American Market, and so many other things happen and continue to grow in our little town!
I love the variety of different shops and stores. If there’s something you’re looking for, you can typically find it downtown.

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.