By Joshua Schuetz
From June to October 2022, the city of Spring Valley held a monthly block party event called “Wednesdays on Broadway.” The idea, born from a group of about 18 local business owners and community members, several of whom participated in Spring Valley’s Rural entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program, aimed to bring the people together, celebrate community, and have fun.
The “Wednesdays on Broadway” group formalized into the Spring Valley Business Alliance, a registered 501c6, and CEDA team member Chris Hahn and the Spring Valley EDA played a crucial role in helping the group establish a nonprofit status, and coordinating logistics and marketing for the event.
“My role as EDA director is really about community building by connecting people,” Hahn explained. “We have so many assets in this community, so it’s a focus on connecting people with different strengths.”
The first “Wednesdays on Broadway” event was held in June, with three more following in July, August and September. Hahn said local community groups were able to sign up for free, which helped churches and local nonprofits get the word out to potential members and donors. Local businesses benefited from a crowded Broadway Avenue, with food, vendors, live music, vendors and fun activities for families.
“It was important to make sure our local restaurants had the chance to participate, before we looked to bring in food trucks.” stated Hahn. “Some of our local café’s were hesitant at first, but ultimately, they sold out of food, and offered food specials for the remaining events. The only outside food vendor we had was the ice cream truck!.”
The response from the community was so positive that the Spring Valley Business Alliance gave “Wednesdays on Broadway” an encore in the fall. “In September, which was our biggest event, we had more than 70 vendors and we ran out of places to put them,” Hahn said. “People didn’t want it to stop, so the group added an extra event in October complete with fire pits and smores!.”
Registration for this year’s events plans to open in March, and will be on the Spring Valley EDA website. Those interested in registering can do so at the www.springvalleyeda.org.