Main street merchants aug 3 meeting

Minette Hart, (right, green shirt) brainstorms with Sarah Hubbard (front near computer), Andy Romance (against wall) and Courtney Spawn, Payson's Recreation, Parks and Tourism director. The group hopes to have more local businesses attend the Aug. 17 meeting at 5:15 p.m. on the OxBow Saloon patio to brainstorm about October's Olde Main Street Days.

The Payson Main Street Merchants Guild geared up at their Aug. 3 meeting to plan for the second annual Olde Main Street Days set for the first weekend of October.

But only five people showed up.

Now the group is thinking of ways to entice local business owners to attend an upcoming meeting.

“What if we gave a pizza party?” asked Minette Hart, president of the guild.

June Dudley, with Rim Country Flowers, offered to supply the refreshments.

The group will hold a meeting at 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 17 on the back patio at the Oxbow Saloon. On the agenda: brainstorming ways to safely hold Olde Main Street Days amid the pandemic.

The plan is to hold a street fair on Main Street, as they did over the Fourth of July weekend with businesses hosting local food and craft vendors on their property.

Last year, without the pandemic, Olde Main Street Days drew 45 vendors and ran for three days.

It was quite the party.

The town even allowed the guild to shut down Main Street on a Saturday.

Duza’s Kitchen could barely keep up with the demand.

And to top it off, the Sawmill whistle blew at noon, for the first time in years.

But the pandemic will put a damper on Olde Main Street Days this year. The guild plans to use what they learned during the July Fourth fair to improve this year’s Olde Main Street Days.

“Three days was too much,” said Hart, of the July Fourth street fair that went from Friday to Sunday.

She thought between 750 and 1,000 people attended.

But that didn’t satisfy the Cousins Maine Lobster Truck parked at the Oxbow Saloon. The vendor told Hart he made $9,000 in two days but decided not to return for a third.

“He complained that was not enough,” said Hart.

Dudley said her food vendor canceled for the Fourth of July weekend. She hopes for better for Olde Main Street Days.

Hart threw out ideas on how to get local businesses and vendors involved in the event.

“We kinda threw around doing a poker run,” said Hart. “(The customers) would have to go into different businesses.”

In a poker run, attendees purchase a card to “play” a round of five-card stud. Visitors go to each business to draw a card. Once the card is filled, the best hand wins. Prize ideas are still being worked out.

Hart will canvass businesses for prize donations, but it would be easier if they all came to the Aug. 17 meeting to brainstorm.

For more information, contact Hart at 928-978-1119 or art.minette@gmail.com.

Contact the reporter at mnelson@payson.com

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