Spring Events on Main Street

Get ready, Georgetown Main Street (GMS) is planning major events to promote small businesses and boost commercial vibrancy along Georgetown’s Wisconsin Ave. NW corridor this May and June.  

May is Small Business Month, so GMS is launching a major “signature event” – Shop Small Georgetown – from May 10-15. It’s “all about raising awareness of small businesses and experiences in our neighborhood and inviting [visitors] to enjoy a couple of events that bring you to the front door!” the group announced on Facebook.  

“It’s mostly an awareness campaign,” GMS’s executive director Rachel Shank told The Georgetowner. The goal is to create buzz around all the “different types of small businesses in Georgetown” and incentivize customers to discover new shops.  

Each day of the campaign is devoted to a “different industry of small business” in the neighborhood. Tuesday, May 10 will be dedicated to the “Health, Beauty and Fitness” industry. Wednesday May 11 to “Food and Drinks,” Thursday May 12 to “Personal and Professional Services,” Friday May 13 to “The Arts,” Saturday May 14 to “Independent Retailers,” and Sunday May 15 to “The Great Outdoors.”  

In addition to promotional activities, special events are also planned. On Friday May 13, GMS will sponsor a Georgetown Galleries Spring Art Walk featuring 8 different locations and 5 local galleries, including Washington Printmakers, Calloway Fine Art, Addison/Ripley, Miss Celine’s 5 Friends, Article 15 and The African Union embassy. Scilla and Luna will be featuring a live textile art and weaving demonstration. Given the success of last fall’s Art Walk, GMS plans to return to bi-annual arts programs, in the spring and the fall.  

During the French Market, Washington Printmakers Gallery was open for browsing. GMS plans to hold a Georgetown Galleries Spring Art Walk on May 13. Photo by Chris Jones.

On Saturday May 14*, to celebrate “Independent Retailers Day,” GMS will host the Georgetown Sweets Tour. Modeled after GMS’s highly successful Georgetown Cookie Tour before the holidays, the Sweets Tour will bring shoppers on a baked goodies scavenger hunt to 12 local businesses paired with 12 local bakeries. “We’re taking two things we know and love about Georgetown: bakeries + boutiques and mixing them together for one sweet day,” GMS announced on Facebook.  

Each store on the tour will have fresh baked yummy treats to be collected, with $60 worth of baked goods to enjoy by the end.  Shoppers will have “gone to 12 small businesses they’ve probably never been into before and then they’ll have a little goodie box full of 12 locally made sweets,” Shank said. “We’ll have these little gable boxes… They’re branded with our little event stickers and a map. It’s so cute and charming.”  

On Sunday May 15, to promote Georgetown’s “Great Outdoors” spaces, Officina will be selling picnic baskets and shoppers can buy food items for a pleasant outdoor meal in some of the many beautiful parks and outdoor spaces gracing Georgetown. “We wanted to emphasize the new Canal Boat and promote all the amazing parks in Georgetown,” Shank said. 

Behind the scenes, GMS has been working to keep the neighborhood clean. Shank has teamed closely with Ward 2 Council Member Brooke Pinto to gain $72,000 in annual renewable city funding for Clean Team work on Wisconsin Ave. NW at the northern edge of Georgetown. She wants to make sure businesses such as Everard’s Clothing, Fresh Baguette, Bistro Lepic, Sticx, plus “several hair salons, a Turkish restaurant, a dog grooming place and businesses that have been there a long time” aren’t neglected.  

On June 22, GMS will be hosting a grants reception “probably at” City Sliders’ for the 11 businesses to which they awarded $3000 business grants. Shank is particularly pleased the grants will allow Ally Banks to repair its storefront signage and landscaping after damage from a car crash. New outdoor seating and portofino lights will be provided to Los Cuates, Fountain Inn and City Sliders. Including digital marketing assistance grants, GMS managed this year to dole out over $45,000 in grants to boost Georgetown’s small and local businesses. And, already this year, GMS has logged more volunteer hours than all of last year.  

Stay tuned for GMS’s unveiling of its new branding. Provided gratis by Vista, the new logo will feature the iconic “Georgetown” marquee above Compass Coffee. Shank laughed as she told us this, because she was conducting the interview remotely enjoying coffee from that very spot.  

*Since this article was written, GMS has postponed the Georgetown Sweets Tour to June 25. Go to georgetownmainstreet.com for more information. 




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