Main Street Alachua is rebranding and the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency Coordinator, Chelsea Bakaitis, said that in five years she wants to see the historic street become a social and community hub.
Part of the rebranding effort has involved her agency’s work on marketing and planning events to bring in people and increase business.
Unlike downtown Micanopy, which is known for its antiques, Alachua has a variety of different shops in its downtown area, such as a music shop, a quilting shop and a flower shop.
After the recession in 2007, Main Street Alachua had to redefine itself as a destination location, Bakaitis said.
In January, Alachua held an Art Walk as one of the first initiatives to get more people to come out. Local businesses found artists from the area that they liked and featured their artwork in the business.
Now, the agency is attempting an event called Third Thursday that has adapted the Art Walk.
Third Thursdays are on Main Street in Alachua and take place the third Thursday of every month. The first Third Thursday was on March 15. The event featured two local bands, art from local artists and businesses teamed up with Swamp Head and First Magnitude breweries for craft beer tastings.