Towns peppered across America are colored with shops and eateries that appeal to us, but often our routines and rituals can keep us from taking time to find the new treasure that lie behind the door. As we drive by, we may even think to ourselves, “I have to stop by next week.” Often times we find that next week was too late, and a small business closes without us venturing inside. This town seems to have found an answer.
Fairy Day in May was birthed when Nicole Kilpatrick of Morgan’s Consignment Boutique and Laura LeGant of Inspiration Art Studio met in front of their shops in Holly Michigan. Their expanding vision of including the merchants of the small downtown area became one of the most successful events for bringing the children and their parents together to share passports, games, and trinkets given to each child who participated. To continue with the child-based theme, July 29 & 30 was chosen for Pirate Day and GreeningDetroit.com decided to venture up to see what the excitement was all about.
We contacted Alesha Mogerman, one of the owners of Cupcakes and Kisses, whose partners are Toni and Kevin Barnett. With 4 children under 12, and 18 months of ownership, the group were in full regalia and prepared with pirate themed goodies and ‘make and take’ cupcakes. They were a big part of the planning and developing for the event, which was considered to be the counterpart to Fairy Day, (which is slated to happen again in August, just before school starts).
“ When we moved here, we noticed there were a lot of kids, but we rarely saw them downtown,” stated Barnett. “It’s a way to get the kids and parents to visit storefronts that they normally may pass by. The community get’s a chance to gather and gives the kids fun things to do.”
It worked. Inflatables and hay-mazes, firetrucks, and booths filled the street and sidewalks. We also took the time to venture into Holly’s Main Street Antiques, and dined on the outside patio behind Bittersweet Cafe, where Dee Von Boemel and her staff offer an intriguing and eclectic array of choices and spirits; our dining experience was exceptional and highly recommended.
For $22.00 dollars, Pirate Day tickets were available for purchase, which provided you with a map and a chance for prizes and ‘treasure’ to find at each participating merchants storefront. Planning only took a few months, mostly through conversations on a closed Facebook page and through phone calls. The merchants met a few times physically, but the rest was done virtually. Community members from outside of the downtown area joined in. Debbie Gabbara, Community Center Director of The River Church happily drew names for prizes by the town clock. Dick Rossell, Chairman of the Downtown Development Authority and current candidate for Holly Village President was on hand to support. About 250 tickets were sold for each event to family’s and shoppers in the area.
For more information about the merchants and town of Holly, Michigan please visit:
Written by Cathleen Francois, Executive Director, GreeningDetroit.com