Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Coming In 2015

The last 2 days I was working on the Norristown Business Association's first meeting of the year, so no Diary entries. But today, since the NBA did a public presentation yesterday, I can tell you the events planned for 2015. These are only NBA events--they'll be lots of others, too, by other organizations. Norristown's going to be an active place this year.

Within the next 2 weeks, the NBA will open a Visitor Welcome Center downtown. Jus' Java has agreed to let us have a little space for a brochure rack, which will include attraction info (Elmwood Park Zoo, Five Saints Distilling, etc.), take-out menus from local restaurants, business brochures, self-guiding walking tours, and event information. In addition, a TV screen will display a slide show of ads from businesses and event planners, plus interest photos of Norristown's architecture, arts and other amenities. The suggestion was made at the meeting to put a similar TV screen in the jurors room at the courthouse. We're going to look into it. When pricing and guidelines for the ads are posted online somewhere, I'll pass on the link.

Starting in March, on the 3rd Wednesday from 5-7 pm, the NBA will offer business seminars at a reasonable cost. The first will be March 18th at Jus' Java and the topic is Your Business on Facebook: How to Use Facebook to Promote Your Business Effectively. Details to follow.

Starting in April will be NBA's Walking Taste Tours. Last year we did one tour, which was well attended, but seemed to be too many restaurants, too much walking, took too much time and was more food than people could handle. So this year, we're doing smaller, shorter tours, and combining them with walking tours of Norristown's architecture. The first tour is tentatively scheduled for April 11.

Also starting in April and running at least through September, we plan to have Fourth Fridays Downtown. This will include a new jazz venue--Jazz on Cherry Street by Vance Community Partners at 214 Cherry--plus as the weather warms up, NBA hopes to encourage restaurants to stay open later and offer outdoor dining, music or other activities that will bring people to Norristown the 4th Friday of each month. These nights will also mark a return of NBA's Game Night--some of you remember how much fun last year's Family Feud nights were. Stay tuned.

May 2nd is the Arts Hill Festival and NBA will be there, hosting "A Taste of Norristown at the Top of The Hill." Participating restaurants will offer samples of the foods they do best, for only a dollar or 2, so festival goers can try out many different places. This will be a prelude to Restaurant Week in Norristown, which will take place the week after, May 4-10. During Restaurant Week, participating eateries will offer discounts or free menu items.

Sometime in midsummer, we hope to have a barbecue/festival at Logan Square. This would be late afternoon/evening and feature our North End restaurants.

The 3rd annual Riverfest will be September 19 at Riverfront Park. It's a joint venture of the NBA and Dragon Boat Club. Riverfest was nominated this year for Best Of Montco Family Event and when I last checked, we were winning by a lot (you can add your vote at this link.) If you haven't been to Riverfest, come for the food, music, games, and free boat rides.

The NBA hopes to make Small Business Saturday (November 28th) more of an event this year, and as always, to encourage everyone to support our small businesses all year around.

And we'll wind up the year with another Light Up The Dark Contest, encouraging our businesses to go all out with holiday light displays all around town.

The Business Association will need volunteers for these events, even if you can only spare a half hour. If you're interested, email and tell us which event(s) you want to help out with. Also, drop us a line if you want to be a participating restaurant/vendor for any of the events, or want to place an ad on the Welcome Center TV. 

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