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Community volunteers pitch in to clean up before national Big Bash event in downtown

Community volunteers pitch in to clean up before national Big Bash event in downtown

With a national spotlight ready to shine on the downtown Lee's Summit this week, a group of residents and volunteers took to the streets Sunday for a little cleanup duty. The Big Bash cleanup event drew approximately 40 people who picked up trash along the sidewalks and in the alleys in preparation for the National Main Street Conference Big Bash event on Wednesday night.

Downtown Lee's Summit Main Street donated rubber gloves and trash bags to the cause and Gravatt Waste Solutions pitched in with the use of its trash and recycling trucks.

The Big Bash serves as the closing event for the 2018 National Main Street NOW conference which is held this week in downtown Kansas City. Donnie Rodgers, executive director of Downtown Lee's Summit Main Street inc., said he anticipates more than 600 conference attendees from across the country to make their way to Lee's Summit between 6 and 10 p.m. on Wednesday night.

The public is invited to attend and take advantage of the evening's activities, which include street artists and musicians, an alley arcade and various specials at your local downtown shops and restaurants.

About Main Street NOW:

Kansas City, Missouri, will serve as a living laboratory for doers, makers and innovators in downtown revitalization on March 26-28. The Main Street Now Conference is the annual conference for the National Main Street Center that brings together a coast-to-coast network of city planners, community revitalization professionals, volunteers and elected officials working to sustain the future of America’s historic downtowns.

Through 18 mobile workshops and 94 education sessions, the 2018 Main Street Now Conference provides a forum for best practices on igniting and sustaining the redevelopment of small towns, mid-sized downtowns and urban commercial districts. Attendees will examine how to strengthen downtowns of all sizes through a variety of tools, including supporting creative economies, attracting artisans and tech entrepreneurs, and developing small business. The conference is the nation’s foremost educational and networking event for those engaged in revitalizing traditional commercial districts and downtowns through historic preservation-based community development.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Main Street Now to Kansas City this year,” said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Our attendees hail from towns of all sizes from across the country, and I know they will find lots to love about and learn from Kansas City, from the booming downtown district to the dynamic neighborhoods.” 

Conference highlights include:

  • Keynote address in the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland Theatre “Creating Vibrant and Healthy Cities for All” by Gil Penalosa, founder and chair of 8 80 Cities, an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded on the philosophy that “if you create a great city for an 8 year old and an 80 year old, you will create a successful city for all people”;
  • The announcement of the prestigious 2018 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) winners at the historic Midland Theatre;
  • 18 Mobile workshops in Kansas City’s districts and surrounding Main Street communities, including Westport, one of KC’s oldest neighborhoods currently known for its blend of tasty eateries, trendy boutiques, and poplar nighttime hot spots, and 2018 GAMSA semi-finalist, Chillicothe, birthplace of a mechanized bread slicing invention and home of a successful mural and arts program;
  • Closing plenary address by HGTV’s Home Town co-stars, Jim and Mallorie Rasberry and Josh Nowell, sharing a behind-the-scenes view of the community restoration in Laurel, Mississippi, that led to the hit TV show.
  • The finale of the conference – the Big Bash – in a 2010 GAMSA winning community where attendees will enjoy a celebratory festival with street performers, interactive art, shopping, music, and more in downtown Lee’s Summit.

The 2018 Main Street Now Conference is co-hosted by Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc. (MMSC), a non-profit organization and Main Street America Coordinating Program for Missouri.

“We are thrilled for the privilege to organize and host this national event in Kansas City and to bring thousands from across the nation to our beautiful state,” said Gayla Roten, State Director for MMSC. “Missouri Main Street communities have a lot to be proud of as they work to revitalize their downtowns using the Main Street methodology. We’re excited to showcase their successes to delegates from all over the country.”

On-site registration begins on Sunday, March 25 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The conference is open to members of the media, but they must check in at the registration desk to receive their credentials. The public may purchase tickets for tours pending availability.

For conference updates, follow @MainStreetsConf and the hashtag, #NOW18 on Twitter. More information on the program is online at www.mainstreet.org

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