The Village of Iola, in conjunction with Iola Hometown/Chamber of Commerce, has been awarded a $2,500 Community Grant from the Alliant Foundation Board of Directors. The grant will be used to fund Thursday Night on Main/Thriving Thursday Farmers Market projects in 2011.
These events were held for the first time in 2010 and were extremely successful at building community and boosting retail business in the downtown area. Thursday Night on Main/Thriving Thursday Farmers Market occur every second and fourth Thursdays of June, July and August.
In addition to fresh foods and arts/crafts, the main attraction is live music. Various bands and individuals showcasing varied styles of music (e.g., jazz, swing, rock, children’s) attracted all ages.
The win-win situation empowered Farmers Market vendors take advantage of the crowds in town to hear music. Many people ventured over to the Farmers Market on Thursday evenings to purchase locally produced items.
“The goal of these events was to create foot traffic in our downtown area to generate a sense of pride, joy and appreciation for what our town has to offer, as well as utilizing our local resources,” said Tammie Jo Berg, grant submitter. “It is really an effort to capitalize on our strengths, re-educate and encourage our community and surrounding area to come and see what we have to offer.”