Although winter seems reluctant to let go, Elkins ON TRAC and downtown businesses are ready to welcome spring with two March events.
Merchants will chase Old Man Winter away with the third annual Spring Clean Sweep March 15 to 23 in downtown Elkins.
Everyone is invited to participate with window washing and sidewalk sweeping. New window displays are encouraged to brighten up the downtown area.
"We want to sweep the winter doldrums out the door and say good riddance until next year," said Mike Ellis, chair of ON TRAC's Promotion Committee.
"It's also time to take down those tired displays and replace them with fresh, new designs for the coming season."
Posters featuring the event's broom logo will be displayed in the windows of participating businesses. Brooms also will be prominent in window displays. Special spring-themed sales, door prizes, drawings or grab bags may also be offered throughout the week. Some businesses also will offer reduced prices on winter inventory to make room for new spring products.
The city of Elkins has been invited to participate in the event with street cleaning and removal of any outdated displays. Street Department Supervisor Rodney Nutter said harsh weather has delayed this work. The Fire Department also has been asked to help by hosing down sidewalks.
The transformation will be complete in time for ON TRAC's Pancake Breakfast at CJ Maggie's March 23. Project volunteers will serve pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee or tea from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Davis Avenue restaurant.
"We are really looking forward to this first event of the season, and sincerely appreciate the support from CJ Maggie's," said Project Manager/VISTA Karen Carper.
Carper said many more events are planned, including a repeat of the popular Mountains Beckon Bicycle Parade & Street Fair on May 18.
Pancake Breakfast tickets are available in advance for $5 per person at Davis Trust Co. or from ON TRAC board and committee members. Tickets also may be purchased at the door. All proceeds benefit Elkins ON TRAC.
ON TRAC also announces a new product will be available for sale beginning March 23. Those who attend the pancake breakfast or visit participating businesses can purchase a reusable shopping bag. The bag is part of a campaign aimed at reducing waste and encouraging local shopping.
Sale of the shopping bags and Pancake Breakfast tickets support ON TRAC's work to revitalize downtown Elkins. Specific projects include creation of a mobile website to promote downtown as a destination and development of gateways to draw traffic from Randolph Avenue to the downtown shopping district.
More than 50 volunteers are involved in the organization's work, Carper said.
"These dedicated volunteers give their time and talents to the project because they recognize the value of downtown as the heart of the community," she said. "Anyone who would like to join the effort is welcome."
For more information, find Elkins ON TRAC on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.