COVID uncertainty leads to cancelation of Girls’ Night Out, Downtown Trick or Treat | Word on the Street

Mari F. Mullen
Posted 9/22/21

The leaves are changing, fall is here and it’s time to take a step back to look at the plans for the months ahead now that a busy summer has passed.

This week, we came to the difficult …

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COVID uncertainty leads to cancelation of Girls’ Night Out, Downtown Trick or Treat | Word on the Street

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The leaves are changing, fall is here and it’s time to take a step back to look at the plans for the months ahead now that a busy summer has passed.

This week, we came to the difficult decision to cancel the Port Townsend Main Street Program’s Girls’ Night Out event scheduled for Oct. 7, as well as the Downtown Trick or Treat Halloween event Oct. 31. There is so much uncertainty about COVID and there is a recent surge in case numbers. 

The original goal of Girls’ Night Out was to bring business to town in the off-season, and at the same time put the focus on women’s health, because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

It is typically a day and night of girlfriend fun and shopping, and the theme changes each year. The sales of goodie bags helped raise funds for cancer screenings for those in need through the Jefferson Healthcare Foundation, as well as supporting our nonprofit Port Townsend Main Street Program. The event has grown over the years and has also served as a fun way to connect customers with merchants to reacquaint them with the unique shops and restaurants here in advance of the holiday season.

Jefferson Healthcare is a longtime major sponsor for this event, but this year they had serious concerns about events that could potentially impact community safety. The event brings hundreds of women downtown and features indoor activities in smaller spaces and they made the decision not to sponsor it this year. 

When we started planning Girls’ Night Out it was a different situation with the pandemic; cases were lower. The case numbers have been rising lately and we value and respect our partnership with Jefferson Healthcare. Our Promotion Committee had a thoughtful discussion and we agreed with Jefferson Healthcare’s concerns. We have chosen to support community safety and to exercise caution by not having Girls’ Night Out this year. 

Many generous merchants had signed up for the event, and offered donations for the goodie bags and raffle and we are so very grateful for their support. 

We plan to offer Girls’ Night Out next year and for it to be better than ever — when we hope the pandemic will be a distant memory. It is a good time to remember to get your cancer screenings during October.

We are hopeful that the COVID numbers will soon be on the downswing in Jefferson County and we appreciate everyone’s commitment to community health by masking up. Thanks for continuing to support our local merchants.

DOWNTOWN TRICK OR TREAT CANCELLED

We also received the results of a recent merchant survey and the responses did not support going ahead with the Downtown Trick or Treat event Oct. 31, which typically attracts 2,000-plus children and their families. 

We had to make the hard choice to cancel the 2021 Trick or Treat due to COVID concerns. The merchant survey also relayed some creative holiday brainstorming and fourth-quarter marketing input. Thanks to those who responded.

HIDDEN HISTORY TOURS CONTINUE

The free interactive history tours in conjunction with the new Hidden History signs are continuing through the fall. 

These engaging tours are led by a Key City Public Theatre actor and take place on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Meet at Haller Fountain at 1 p.m., and please wear a mask. The tours are part of the grant funding that Port Townsend Main Street Program received thanks to the First Federal Community Foundation for the “Love Where You Live” campaign. Matching funds are provided by the Port of Port Townsend and Windermere Real Estate — we thank them for their community spirit.

HUD LOAN AND LENT FUND DEADLINES

We coordinate the Main Street HUD Revolving Loan application process twice a year to encourage preservation and maintenance of commercial buildings in the historic districts. 

The Main Street LENT Microloan Revolving Fund has a quarterly application cycle and provides emergency loans or business expansion loans for the commercial historic districts. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15. See details at ptmainstreet.org, click on “Resources.”

HOLIDAYS

The Port Townsend Main Street Program Promotion Committee team is focused on designing a holiday campaign that promotes businesses safely. We also hope to be able to offer some outdoor activities with room for social distancing. 

Our crew will get busy hanging winter lights later in October, thanks to funding from the city of Port Townsend Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. Stay tuned for more about the holiday campaign at ptmainstreet.org or follow on us social media.

We appreciate your support of the Port Townsend Main Street Program. Thank you for shopping and dining locally, and investing in Port Townsend, a very special place.

For more information about our program and activities, please visit ptmainstreet.org., iLovePortTownsend.com, and ptcreativedistrict.org.

(Mari F. Mullen is the executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street Program, a nonprofit organization. Main Street works with businesses and the community to achieve its mission to preserve, promote and enhance the historic business districts, Uptown and Downtown. The Port Townsend Main Street Program is an accredited Main Street Program and is one of 34 Main Street Programs across Washington state.)

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