Much before commencement of the Taste of Fort Erie there were already nearly 2000 people on Jarvis Street coming out to show their support for local business. The lines were growing and growing in the vendor area as well as the amazing MEGA Kidz Zone that offered parents no-cost entertainment for their children. A continual stream of visitors numbering in the thousands filled the street the entire day much to the delight of merchants, charities, entertainers and especially the Bridgeburg Downtown Business Improvement Area Association who did not know what to expect from their first major downtown event.
The Taste of Fort Erie event was conceived and managed by Bridgeburg B.I.A. Chair, Julie Brady (Regional Limousine) and Vice-Chair, Katie Miller (Sun Life Financial). Treasurer, Mike Daigle (Bridgeburg Gentleman's Shoppe) was kept sufficiently buried in paperwork to ensure participants were promptly documented and disposed. Director, Vince Salvatori (Fate Salon) ensured district banners and flower baskets were proudly poised in time for the event as well as securing substantial donations and impressive displays. The B.I.A.'s dedicated street patrol, (with aptly chosen Wonder Woman Facebook profile photo) Director, Susan Jovanovic was seen dropping out of light speed from time to time ensuring clean and safe streets among other tasks. Special thanks must be extended to Brad Bruntons (Billy Bones BBQ Canada) for the generous supply of generators and reefer trailer, and again for set up and tear down. The graffiti car competition was made possible through donated vehicles and paint from Miller's Auto Recycling and Sherwin Williams. Donation of funds or supplies was received with thanks from Performance Acura, Brock Ford, Canadian Motor Speedway, Economic Development and Tourism Corporation, Ridgeway Kinsmen, Jesse and Kelly's No Frills, The Mill Ridgeway, and Fort Erie Timber Mart. Additional mention is deserved by Michelle Anne Morrissey and Kathleen Graves who eagerly came to bat and kept swinging until the end. Still more irreplaceable volunteers include Gail Spear, "Jack", Evan Miller, Nick Brady, Michelle Lubberts, Kyler James, Theodora Mollicone, "AJ", Kerry McCallum, Ivan Lubberts, Dana Carver, Damien Tanenbaum, Shawn Schertzing, John Mallicone, Laurie Schertzing, Adam Felt, Tara Felt, Bonnie MacNeil, "Dan", Councillor Kim Zanko, Councillor George McDermott, Councillor Marina Butler, Councillor Stephen Passero, Darcey McNaul, Lynn Honey, Carole Walpole, Melissa Drulia and Mike Turner. Local student volunteers were as always a source of competent and enthusiastic support. Chantelle and Justin really made an impression with their work ethic. Town of Fort Erie Community Liaison, Al Stouffer gets a double thumbs up for his amazing performance. Apologies if any names were missed. All of our supporters really came through for this event!
By day's end Jarvis Street welcomed more than 6500 visitors who came to get a Taste of Fort Erie. New entrepreneurs and business owners who might be considering placing their business in Bridgeburg Historic District were given a taste of the B.I.A.'s potential. This grand event introduced many new visitors to the Bridgeburg Historic District as well as let everyone in Fort Erie know about all the new businesses downtown. With the successful Taste of Fort Erie event now behind them the board of management is already back at the table discovering and inventing where necessary solutions that will preserve and promote business in Bridgeburg. Members and new investors are invited to lend their skills or learn new ones becoming active members of the Bridgeburg Station Downtown Business Improvement Area. You can unlock the potential of the magnificent Bridgeburg Historic District through open communication and cooperation with your B.I.A. Association. Neighbours and community friends are also invited to participate in the revitalization program. Volunteers are our most precious resource! Write today or attend an upcoming general meeting to get more information about getting involved. Volunteers can jump right in and click the Sign Up button on our Facebook page. The Bridgeburg B.I.A. Association meets the second Thursday of each month. The next general meeting commences at 6:00pm on October 8 at 201 Jarvis Street (PenFinancial Credit Union).