Written by Hunter Terrell, Opinions Editor
Valdosta’s Mainstreet Program directors Misty Smith and Ellen Hill are looking for ways to increase VSU student’s involvement with downtown Valdosta.
“Ultimately we want to bridge the gap between Mainstreet and the VSU student body,” said Smith.
“What most students don’t see is all the things downtown has to offer,” said Sharlie Keaton, senior, art major. “Most people compare our downtown to Athens or Tallahassee, and that’s just not here. This is Valdosta, we should embrace it.”
There are 11 restaurants, 11 various shops, several rental spaces open to the public, The Brass Quill Gallery tattoo parlor, the historical Dosta Theatre and the more modernized Red Door Cinema alongside monthly events hosted on the courthouse greenspace and supremely maintained sidewalks and public outdoor space.
The initial focus for Valdosta Mainstreet is to provide students with a sense of place and support small businesses at the same time.
In 2013, Valdosta placed in the top 5 of all Georgia Mainstreet programs.
The Mainstreet Program also has available gift certificates called Downtown Dollars.
Downtown Dollars is designed to support all small businesses in downtown Valdosta. They are available in $10 increments, and cannot expire.
The money spent that stays local is one of the greatest gift you can give to Downtown Valdosta.
Downtown may not be as cheap as Remerton or as crowded as the regular movie theatre, but it does offer an individual experience you can build on your own.
Valdosta Mainstreet is on all social media platforms and provides their audience with updates as they come.
Find a full list of all vendors, restaurants and events at valdostamainstreet.com and follow them on Instagram @ downtownvaldosta.