Discover Downtown Middlesboro held its annual meeting Thursday evening at the Alexander Arthur Museum.
DDM Director Isaac Kremer spoke about the three major initiatives the organization will be undertaking in the next year including the Makers Market, Build a Better Block event and development of the trails system.
The Makers Market will begin in April and will give local artists, food producers, musicians and craftsmen an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in a public venue. The market will be held at the historic Adams Palace Saloon building owned by Donna and Kirby Smith.
May 10 will be the 2014 Build a Better Block event in downtown Middlesboro. Similar to last year’s event pop-up shops, activity and business will be brought to the downtown area as well as revitalizing the facades along block including the historic Elks Home.
The University of Kentucky has been working closely with DDM to create additional trails as well as improving the standing trails in the area. Hiking, biking and walking trails from Cumberland Gap National Park to the downtown area will eventually connect with the Great Eastern Trail, spanning from Florida to New York.
“This is a moment where we need to come together because the quantity of work is growing exponentially,” said Kremer.
Craig Potts and Kitty Dougoud of the Kentucky Main Street program awarded Jay Shoffner with the 2013 Volunteerism Award. DDM was awarded the Economic Restructuring Award for their efforts during the 2013 Build a Better Block event.
“We’re spreading the word that this area is moving and we’re moving in a direction,” said Mayor Bill Kelley.
Blake Bowling, Kristy Bay and Stephen Cambron were elected to the Board of Directors spanning the next three years.
Kelsey Gerhardt may be reached at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.