As we wrap up 2007, there is much to be thankful for in Downtown Sikeston. I would like to extend my thanks to this year's new members: American Legion Post 114, Bo's Jewelry & Pawn, David Crader-Attorney at Law, Gadberry Rentals, George W. Gilmore Jr.-Attorney at Law, Heartland Office Supply, Joy's Bridal, Kirby's Sandwich Shop, John A. Leible D.M.D., Michael G. Marshall, Robert S. Matthews, Americare, Newton & Company, Old Security Title Company, Calvin & Wilma Owen, Pratt Development, Schumacher Financial Services, Roger & Laura Sherman, Sikes Sporting Goods, Fred & Linda Steward, Sweetgum Gallery, David L. Tongate D.D.S., and John Wilson. The Historic Midtown Development Group is grateful for your support, as well as that of those members who continue to support our revitalization efforts through annual membership contributions.
Volunteers and sponsors of the Downtown Merchants' Holiday Open House, the Sikeston Christmas Gift Weekend, and Santa at the Band Stand deserve our gratitude as well: Burch Food Services, Falkoff's Men's Shop, Moll Printing, Personal Expressions, Show-Me Rentals, Standard-Democrat, Susie's Bake Shop, Erika Becker, Steve Beydler, Ed and Janis Dust, James Figley, Brenda Hicks, Betty Johns, Ron Klutts, Mary Etta Lancaster, Jiggs Moore, Chad Pender, Monique Rice, Marcia Witt, Sikeston Depot Museum staff and volunteers, the Sikeston Public Library, and the Sikeston's Dickens' Carolers: Dr. Larry Bohannon, Judy Henry, Ann Jones, Dr. John Leible, Wanda Rankin, Jeanne Anne Sullivan, Connie Thompson, and Garry Warner. I also wish to express my gratitude to all of HMDG's dedicated Promotion committee members. Many of us are dependent on our computers in our everyday lives, at work and at home. With just about everything available online today, it's not surprising that a lot of Christmas shopping is completed over the web.
However, we don't want to forget our downtown retailers. The National Trust Main Street Center has made it a little easier for the technology-minded to help support downtown. In 2006, the National Trust Main Street Center launched www.shopmainstreet.org, a directory of "Mom & Pop" businesses located in downtown communities throughout the nation, to encourage holiday shoppers to support independent businesses by buying gifts online.
All featured businesses have online catalogs or online shopping capabilities and are located in downtown districts that have volunteer-driven revitalization programs, like HMDG, in place. The interactive website allows online shoppers to search independent businesses in downtown communities by state or by merchandise category.
Craftmasters' Kidsmart, Falkoff's Men's Shop, Sikes Sporting Goods, and Collins Music are currently listed in the online Main Street business directory. While I encourage everyone to visit any and all of our downtown merchants this holiday shopping season, if www.shopmainstreet.org makes it a little easier, go for it.
After almost a year of diligent research and planning, the Historic Midtown Development Group is proud to unveil Sikeston's first Historic Homes Walking and Driving Tour brochure. Created with the assistance of the Sikeston-Miner Convention & Visitors Bureau, through a Missouri Division of Tourism Cooperative Marketing Grant, this brochure showcases twenty-four historic homes and fourteen points of historic interest.
The Historic Homes Walking and Driving Tour brochure is available at several local outlets, including many of our downtown merchants, City Hall, the Sikeston Public Library, the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Sikeston Depot Museum. Pick up a brochure and spend a holiday afternoon with the family learning a little bit about the homes we pass by everyday. I guarantee you will learn something new -- I did!
The Historic Midtown Development Group will not meet on Jan. 3, in order to give everyone a break from meetings during the holiday season. We will resume our regular meetings at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Susie's Bake Shoppe. You can see all HMDG and committee meeting dates on our Web site www.downtownsikeston.org -- click on the "Meetings" link.
We've had a lot happen in Downtown Sikeston in 2007, and we have a lot more planned for 2008, so stay tuned!