Discover Downtown encourages local economy

Discover Downtown, part of the Great Beginnings events tailored to introduce students to their new city, is the first event of many this year designed to attracted students to downtown Murray.

Karen Welch, owner of New Life Christian Bookstore, said Discover Downtown was designed to introduce Murray State students to downtown.

“We never know how many will come, hoping for several hundred,” Welch said.

Discover Downtown will act as an open house for the downtown area. Murray residents are invited to discover the local shopping and services available. Discover Downtown will be held on August 24 from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. as part of the Great Beginnings events planned to introduce new students to the University’s campus and surrounding area.

“The number of participating businesses is still not final,” Welch said. “Usually we have twenty or more participating in our events. Businesses will be denoted that day by placing blue and gold balloons outside their businesses and possibly welcome signs.”

Welch said several businesses will have sales, door prizes and giveaways.

This event is planned to introduce students to the area, however, Welch said the goal is to persuade students to continue to bring their business outside the campus area. The next event, the Ice Cream Festival, which will be held in mid-September. These two events will be the first of many different activities to be held in the downtown area this semester.

“The Ice Cream Festival brings thousands to Murray every year,” Welch said. “This is the fourteenth year for the festival. Its been growing and growing.”

Welch said it’s a great boost for non-profits who participate. She said non-profit organizations will be providing volunteers to help make this event possible.

“Anytime MSU students discover a portion of Murray other than the immediate surroundings of the university, there is a strong impact”, Said Welch, “Businesses downtown are locally owned and strong supporters of MSU so the relationship is a win-win. It fosters good relationships individually and collectively, downtown often reminds students of their hometowns which is also good for them in adjusting to college life.”

Story by Jesse Nelson, Contributing writer.