Foley Main Street director talks 2021 plan of action

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By Jessica Vaughn Gulf Coast News Today 

FOLEY - Foley Main Street Director Darrelyn Dunmore recently presented the 2021 plan of action to the Foley council.

“We have four focus areas as you know with Main Street, that divides every project up and makes sure that we’re balanced within four different categories,” said Dunmore. “Those are economic vitality, design, promotion, and organization.”

In 2021, an app has been created to showcase local downtown businesses, attractions, and events.

“This is defining downtown as a destination and creating an identity for downtown,” Dunmore said. “The app is geo-based, so all of our businesses are already listed in it.”

Learning about all the businesses offered in downtown Foley isn’t the only thing the app will be able to do. A virtual historic tour is in development and will go live in approximately two months, ready for summer. The virtual historic tour was made possible by a partnership between Main Street and the Foley CDD and a community grant.

“The virtual tour will also be based with geo, and there are 11 different locations on there, all the different historic buildings in downtown Foley,” said Dunmore. “As people come up to the buildings while on the app, their phone is activated by that beacon and then it starts telling them audio-wise what’s been going on with that building. There’s pictures on it, and then there’ll also be a written history as well. So now we can get people 365 days a year downtown, walking through and getting the historic tour.”

If you haven’t been walking in downtown Foley recently, you may have missed the new Foley Butterfly mural that’s been painted in the alley between the Post Office and South McKenzie Street. Artist Victoria Cirilli was commissioned by Foley Main Street to paint the mural, the first of many through the Foley Main Street Public Art Initiative. A contest is going on now through the end of April where if you take your photo with the Foley Butterfly, you can share it on social media with the hashtag #FoleyButterfly to be entered into a contest to win a prize.

Dunmore said if someone is in downtown Foley and takes a picture to post, to add either #DowntownFoley, #FoleyMainStreet, or #WhereTheGulfCoastBegins before sharing.

“That way we’re starting to have downtown Foley looked at as a destination, plus it builds community,” she said.

If you’re interested in statistics from downtown Foley, Dunmore updates the numbers of volunteer hours, public and private monies invested into downtown and information on new businesses every month. These numbers can be presented to new businesses looking to come into downtown Foley. The website also showcases available properties for potential businesses.

“This is just the beginning of what Main Street can do here,” said Mayor Ralph Hellmich. “I’m really looking forward to the coming years and the leadership that Main Street is going to provide for our downtown.”

To learn more, visit www.foleymainstreet.com.

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