Dixon sees bright future for downtown

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2005

AHOSKIE – Stan Dixon has a vision for downtown Ahoskie.

Dixon, a veteran businessman who owns Dixon Cleaners and Stitch Count, addressed the Ahoskie Town Council on Tuesday in regards to making the downtown area a better place to shop. To that end, Dixon was at the forefront of an effort that led to the formation of the Downtown Merchants Association (DMA) last year.

&uot;We (DMA) are concerned about downtown Ahoskie and we wanted to form a group that will help the downtown area become more attractive to new businesses and new shoppers,&uot; Dixon said. &uot;Among our goals is to raise money to help with the downtown beautification project that is currently underway.&uot;

One of the biggest challenges undertaken by the DMA came off as a huge success last year – the inaugural Ahoskie Heritage Day. Dixon said consistency is the key to that event being able to sprout its wings and grow.

&uot;We would like to see Ahoskie Heritage Day held the first Saturday in October, this year and for years to come,&uot; he suggested. &uot;Having this on the same weekend every year will allow those who take part to set their calendars around us.&uot;

Dixon continued, &uot;We would like to see Heritage Day grown bigger and bigger every year. Getting more people involved means added success. I’d love nothing better than to see this thing grow to the point where there are 10,000 people in downtown Ahoskie.&uot;

Dixon went on to suggest that Heritage Day became a two-day event, beginning on Friday with a battle of the bands, kiddy rides, etc.

&uot;When you figure in that Indian Summer Days begins on a Thursday, it really means that the entire thing will be a three-day event,&uot; Dixon noted.

Indian Summer Days, sponsored by the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce, is one of town’s oldest traditions. The event, held annually in early October, consists of a craft show and sale and auction. For the first time last year, Indian Summer Days joined forces with Heritage Day to form what was deemed as a huge success.

Dixon pledged support from DMA for this year’s Heritage Day. He said DMA would solicit vendors, offering &uot;sidewalk sale&uot; locations for $25 for not-for-profit groups and $50 for profitable groups.

&uot;We applaud the Downtown Merchants Association for their efforts,&uot; said Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn.

Blackburn asked for a motion concerning Dixon’s plea for Heritage Day to be held on the first weekend of October. Councilman Ronald Gatling motioned for a resolution to be drawn to that effect. The motion passed unanimously.