By Dawn Hatfield
GREENVILLE — March has begun and spring will soon be sprung. In keeping with tradition, Main Street Greenville (MSG) will kick off its annual series of Downtown events beginning March 4 to 5 with “First Friday: Show Us Your Green.”
Participants are encouraged to wear green to help Main Street Greenville kick off the First Friday season! The two-day event features shopping specials and a chance to win gift cards from participating businesses. Stop by the Welcome Center or a participating business and pick up a Show Us Your Green card. Spend a minimum of $5 at a business listed on the card and receive a sticker. Show Us Your Green cards can be turned in at the Welcome Center or placed in the mailbox to the right of the Welcome Center door. Cards with the most stickers will be entered into a drawing for gift cards from participating businesses. Gift cards, valued at $15 each, will be awarded individually.
Purchases made during normal business hours on Friday and Saturday are eligible for stickers. In keeping with First Friday tradition, businesses will remain open until 9 p.m. on Friday.
Participating businesses include:
Buttercream Bakery, Better You Boutique, Blue Lantern Tea House, Bread of Life, Four Twenty Three, Gracious Mineral, Granny’s Corner Frame Shop, Happily Ever Co., Me & PJ, Merle Norman, Montage, Readmore’s Hallmark, Sadie Grace, Sure Shot Tap House, Tangles, The Coffee Pot, The Hive, The Merchant House, and The Natural Path.
All the traditional First Friday favorites are slated for the 2022 season, such as the Artisan Stroll in August and the ticketed Chocolate Walk in November. New to the upcoming season will be Fool’s Luck in April and Firecracker Friday in July.
Follow the new First Fridays Main Street Greenville page on Facebook for further details as the seasons change or subscribe to MSG at facebook.com/mainstreetgreenville.
The Downtown Greenville Farmers’ Market, a Darke County staple since 1998, returns on June 4 and will continue through Oct. 8. Be sure to check out the talents and work of local artisans and growers in front of the Courthouse each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Visit the market throughout the season to find a varied selection of goods from the local vendors, including fresh and/or organic produce, microgreens, bread and baked goods, homemade noodles, honey, chocolates and fudge, seedlings, herbs and seasoning mixes, jams and jellies, candied nuts, dog treats, fresh flowers, candles, craft items, handcrafted jewelry, and so much more.
If you grow local produce, bake fresh goods, or create homemade crafts in Ohio or neighboring Indiana counties, consider applying for the market. It is a wonderful way to bring the community together to celebrate Greenville’s vibrant Downtown. Potential vendors should visit mainstreetgreenville.org and click on “FARMERS’ MARKET” in the menu or call 937-548- 4998 to apply.
Greenville will again honor local veterans through the Hometown Heroes project with banners displayed along S. Broadway Street. This program was created to pay tribute to the brave men and women in Greenville who are serving, have served, or have given their lives to our country in the United States Armed Forces. Only the first 35 applications will be accepted. Applications, payments, and images must be received by May 13, 2022. To apply, visit mainstreetgreenville.org and select “HEROES” in the menu.
In addition to the aforementioned events, a Downtown mural project, orchestrated by MSG, is building steam after being put on hold during the pandemic, and exciting new businesses are soon coming to the Downtown area.
Behind all of these wonderful happenings in Downtown Greenville, is Greg Billing, of West Milton, who took the reins as executive director in October 2021. Following in his predecessor’s footsteps, he collaborates with the boards of MSG and Darke County Visitors Bureau (DCVB) to promote tourism and economic development in Greenville and the surrounding communities of Darke County.
Billing came to MSG and DCVB after more than 25 years in the newspaper industry. His experience includes stops at the Troy Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, and Dayton Daily News. He’s also served as a freelance writer with PressProsMagazine.com and is the Sports Information Director for the Three Rivers Conference.
Billing has settled nicely into his new position and is happy to have this career opportunity in Darke County. In an October press release, Billing said, “Darke County has a rich and vibrant history dating back to the days of General Anthony Wayne and, of course, the legendary Annie Oakley and continues to be a fascinating and engaging place to visit. The variety of festivals, dining establishments, shopping, parks, and, of course the world-famous Eldora Speedway, among Darke County’s many places to experience and explore, offers something for everyone to enjoy. I’m excited to build upon [Ryan Berry’s] leadership and accomplishments and bring even more attention to the wonderful people and places of Darke County.”
After only a few short months in his executive director position, Billing was quick to emphasize the incredible community involvement in MSG’s programs. “Main Street Greenville is thankful for the sponsorship it receives from businesses and individual donors. Through their contributions, we’re able to offer events like First Friday and the Farmers’ Market and beautification projects like the Adopt-A-Box flower program. With spring approaching, we’re excited to see more people getting out and enjoying what Downtown Greenville has to offer,” he said.
Additionally, MSG and DCVB announced on March 1 the hiring of Laura Mullins as the new assistant director. Currently in her third week at MSG, Mullins brings with her a background in art and interior design, which she will utilize to bring a creative eye to local projects. She is a past winner of the Greenville Board of Education Award as well as multiple other local art and interior design-related contests.
Mullins will work with both boards and the executive director to develop and implement strategies that encourage tourists and county residents to explore and experience Darke County’s diverse and delightful attractions, breweries, museums, restaurants, and retailers. In partnership with additional community and business organizations, she will also work closely with local governments, and business and building owners to promote downtown Greenville as one of Ohio’s premier destinations to shop, eat, and call home.
“Improving life in Greenville and the Darke County area is something I’ve wanted to contribute to for a long time,” Mullins said. “Darke County has a lot to offer, and I hope to help people see the value in putting their roots down [here].”
Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.