Grilling new life into Downtown!
FN News Editor
It is a move the Downtown Freeport Business Association (DFBA) hopes will pump new life into the city center after the completion of a massive overhaul months ago with the launch of a family grill-off in the Churchill Square.
The family fun day is one of several major events which the DFBA has planned as an incentive to bring residents back to the downtown area.
It begins this and every Saturday from Noon to 6 p.m.
"It is now a nice flair of music playing and is family-oriented and with those two components, coupled with nice aesthetics, it means that commerce is now ready to begin," DFBA President Wilfred Seymour said.
The downturn in the economy a few years back forced the closure of businesses on the island, including some in the downtown area.
The trickle-down effect eventually led to the scarcity of shoppers in the city center and left the area a virtual ghost town.
In 2009, the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) launched its signature downtown turnaround project that propelled an extensive undertaking which involved the upgrade of parking lots, repaving of damaged areas, re-striping, re-curbing, landscaping and several other renovation projects.
The new business owners association was also formed that year and has 10 members on its board. There are more than 100 stores in the downtown area whose owners are eligible to become members.
With the DFBA responsible for the maintenance, management, structure and operation of the downtown area, Seymour noted that part of the association's initiatives is to foster, promote, maintain and encourage the civic, social, commercial, touristic and economic welfare of downtown.
"We will also work closely with the GBPA's officers and directors to co-ordinate by-laws that will govern the city center," he said.
With the launch of the family grill-off, Secretary Kelly Russell noted, residents will be enticed to return to the area, experience the dramatic change in landscape and see what is being offered.
"There are a lot of bright selection of items. It is also back to school, so it would be nice to get all of those persons out," she said.
The idea of the fun day is also to cater to the entire family.
"We will have a kiddie corner so that the parents can bring the children and they can go on slides as there will be facep aintings, loads of food, hotdogs, hamburgers and some really good shish kebabs," she added.
There will also be sweet treats with daiquiris, conch fritters, grilled pork, chicken and ribs.
"You can come sit down relax and have something to eat while you are shopping," Russell said.
© 2012 The Freeport News