The role of a Main Street organization is to help recognize and
preserve historical downtown areas. In addition, they are charged
with helping to retain business in those areas.
In order to
retain business, shop owners in small communities have to attract
shoppers. In an age when time is limited and convenience is a big
asset to any shopper, downtown businesses are falling to the wayside
on a daily basis.
Fortunately for Lincoln, many of the shop owners in the downtown
area are thoroughly committed to their stores around the square and
the customers they serve on a daily basis. They work continually to
provide goods and services that are the best they can find. They
also devote themselves to providing friendly service by their staff
One of the nicest things about shopping locally and shopping in a
small community is in knowing that when you walk into a store, the
store owner and staff know you and are very happy to see you.
Wanda Lee Rohlfs, the executive director of Main Street Lincoln,
said recently that this year there will be more than ever before to
attract shoppers to the downtown square every week.
One of the rewards of shopping downtown this year will be weekly
drawings for Main Street Money, store gift certificates and more.
Beginning the end of this week, a Main Street drawing box will be
placed in a "spotlighted business." The first drawing will be on
Nov. 12, and then the box will move to another spotlighted business
for the next week.
The first spotlighted business to house the box will be National
Rent to Own (formerly Action Rentals and Sales). On the Nov. 12,
three names will be drawn there. One will win Main Street Money,
another will win a gift certificate good at National Rent to Own,
and the third will win tickets to the annual Main Street spaghetti
dinner, scheduled for Nov. 13 at Hallie's on the downtown square.
The box will then move to Serendipity Stitches and Custom Framing
for a week, and the drawing there will be on Nov. 19. Again the
drawing will include Main Street Money and a gift certificate for
Serendipity. The other prize is yet to be announced.
The pattern of drawing three names a week will continue at MKS
Jewelers on Nov. 26, the Arcade Café on Dec. 3, Beans and Such on
Dec. 10, the Log Cabin Quilt Shop on Dec. 17 and Mary Todd's
Hallmark on Christmas Eve.
In addition to the Main Street Money and gift certificates, a
variety of third drawing prizes will be given out each week and may
include tickets to the Kiwanis Italian dinner, Lincoln Theater
tickets, gift items such as Sentsy Candles, floral arrangements and
a 2011 official city of Lincoln Christmas ornament, which this year
features the Lincoln Theater.
On Nov. 11 the holiday season will officially kick off downtown
with the lighting of the tree on the courthouse lawn and a visit
Rohlfs said that in addition to the large tree donated by Angel
Valley Tree Farm and the large sleigh, there will also be a Santa
hut this year. The Santa hut is a special addition to the courthouse
square and will be there thanks at least in part to the Lincoln High
School National Honor Society.
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Rohlfs said the National Honor Society has taken a great interest
in Main Street Lincoln projects this year and she is really
delighted to have had them. Besides helping with the flower watering
this summer, the society has done an excellent job fixing up the
hut, which was in a bit of disrepair. "They have added fresh paint
and decorations, and it is going to be a wonderful addition to the
square," Rohlfs said.
Those who come to see the tree lighting will also get an
opportunity to visit the downtown square and look at the lovely
decorated store windows. Rohlfs said many of the windows are going
to feature living figures this year.
The theme for this holiday season is the "Songs of Christmas,"
and each business has chosen a song. Their song will be reflected in
their window. In addition, the National Honor Society will once
again be involved, with their own window downtown.
On Nov. 12, in addition to shopping, there will be some very
special children's activities. All youngsters are invited to come to
the Main Street Lincoln office for a morning of fun with Santa.
The activities are expected to begin at 10 a.m., when children
will have an opportunity to write letters to Santa. They will also
get a chance to decorate some edible treats.
Later they will go across the street to the Santa hut and visit
with Santa there. Santa will then return to the MSL office with the
children, where he will read them one of his personal favorite
bedtime stories. Santa is also expected to collect the letters the
kids have written. The children will enjoy hot chocolate or a juice
drink if they prefer and various snacks.
Rohlfs said the children's activities this year are being made
possible by a donation from the Elks Charitable Trust, which has
enabled her to offer more for the kids than she has in the past --
something she is very grateful for.
Also on the schedule is the annual Christmas parade. Rohlfs said
the parade will be on the Friday night after Thanksgiving. She was
also happy to report that Main Street Lincoln is already collecting
entries and is hopeful this will be a great year for a parade.
Rohlfs closed by saying these holiday events are very important
to the community and to the downtown merchants: "I really can't find
the words to let people know what this means to our downtown. I just
hope we'll see lots of people come out for the tree lighting and the
[By NILA SMITH]