WINCHESTER – The final Meet Me on Main Street event wrapped up under the cover of the Joel Steele Community Centre Wed., Aug.1, but the shift in venue did nothing to dampen the spirits of the large crowd.
North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan estimated approximately 1,000 people attended the event.
“Moving it inside doesn’t matter. People want to come to Meet Me on Main Street. This shattered the record, inside or outside, last year or this year, in terms of the number of people we had. Winche
ster is kind of the ideal spot as it’s geographically central. Every week the crowds get bigger wherever we go,” he said.
The mid-week celebration was a homecoming for many people as they timed their vacations with the five events. However, more than a few people used the weekly gathering as an excuse to travel the township and catch up with old friends and neighbours they haven’t seen in a while.
“We always say that every week we have our locals and then we have our roadies that go around to every event. We have people that go every week or at least try to go to three or four of them. People love it. It’s a small town feel where you can go five feet and see someone else you know,” said Duncan.
With the five events officially in the books, the mayor did admit a little bit of nervousness before the kick-off of the sequel to Meet Me on Main Street.
“You’re always nervous when you do something the first time and it works really well it’s like doing a movie sequel. Do you do another one and have it bomb? So, you’re always kind of nervous doing it a second time, but the response from the community last year was that they loved it. We weren’t sure that first night when we had that hot weather, we had a respectable crowd, but then every week it just grew, culminating in the end where our guess that easily over a thousand people went through,” he said.
One thing is for sure, this will be Duncan’s final time attending the event as the mayor, but he does have some advice for the new council.
“We’re really happy with it. Like we do every year, we’ll look at it and the new council will decide what to do. My advice is it’s a good thing. Our staff volunteer their time and they love it because they see how happy people are in town. And they get to see them in a different light. They give them a beer as opposed to a tax bill. It changes it up and celebrates that we live in a great area. This is a perfect example that people love where they live and are proud to live where they live,” he said.
One of the greatest success stories is that of the local business owners and breweries. The exposure for them created invaluable face-to-face marketing opportunities and it has already generated repeat customers for some of the breweries.
“Talking to the breweries they are over the moon about this. People are getting a chance to sample their products and then also people are following up. Talking to a couple of them there are people that were in their stores already that were at Meet Me on Main Street and tried them their for the first time,” said Duncan.
The mayor also encouraged anyone that attended to offer their feedback to the township in order to make improvements and to help the new council decide whether to hold the event again next year.
While there are always areas to improve on with large events like this, there is a feeling that the five-week festival has the potential to become a real mainstay in North Dundas. Here’s hoping that it sticks around and we’ll meet on Main Street again next year.