Daneya Jacobs is coordinating group's efforts to preserve downtown buildings and businesses
Candy Connections has been satisfying Middletown’s sweet tooth for three years.
Now, the co-owner, Daneya Jacobs, has another important job: executive director of the Middletown Main Street program.
She started the job on June 5 and she describes her work as “largely planning events to bring attention and awareness of all the amazing things that Main Street has,” and generate traffic for the businesses in downtown Middletown, she said.
She’s already busy doing just that. A couple of events are coming up which she is planning.
On the first Friday of July and August, there’s a “Music on Main” event. Different vendors will be selling food and snacks and there’s a moon bounce and a D.J. Jacobs said dancing is encouraged and there may be a dancing contest. The event is held from 6 to 9 p.m. in the church parking lot across from the Everett Theatre.
Every second Friday from now until October, the organization will host “Movies Under the Stars” at Silver Lake Park. Festivities start at 6 p.m. with live music, face painting, and a moon bounce. On Friday, July 14, the movie will be Beauty and the Beast. All the movies start at dusk.
Jacobs said she is excited about the director’s job.
“Being a small merchant on Main Street, I totally can relate to some of the things we need to do,” she said.
Besides the events, Main Street’s ambition and goal is to work with landlords downtown to bring merchants that fit Main Street’s character.
Jacobs was named to the position by the Middletown Main Street Board of Directors after interviewing six candidates, said Kevin Castora, board president and owner of Jump on Over, an indoor play center and party rental business in Middletown.
He said Jacobs was chosen from the other candidates because “she was very personable, very outgoing personality. We thought she would jell well with the Middletown merchants. One of her primary responsibilities is to stay in communication with local merchants.”
The Middletown Main Street group is funded by the national organization, Main Street America, and a grant from the Middletown government. The group also holds fundraisers which will be another of Jacobs’ responsibilities.
Established in 1980 as a program of the National Trust for Historical Preservation, the National Main Street Center Inc. has been working with a nationwide network of coordinating programs and local communities to encourage preservation-based community revitalization.
The organization has equipped more than 2,000 older commercial districts with the skills and organizing framework they need for renewal during its 35-year history.
The mission is to revitalize older and historic commercial districts to build vibrant neighborhoods and thriving economics.