DABA gears up for New Year

ARLINGTON — The New Year's first meeting of the Downtown Arlington Business Association looked ahead to promotional opportunities, starting with the Arlington-Stillaguamish Eagle Festival Saturday, Feb. 7.

Mike Britt

ARLINGTON — The New Year’s first meeting of the Downtown Arlington Business Association looked ahead to promotional opportunities, starting with the Arlington-Stillaguamish Eagle Festival Saturday, Feb. 7.

Arlington Arts Council board member Virginia Hatch said the annual event has drawn “a ton of people” in each of its seven years, but also acknowledged that promotional posters already have been printed.

Kathleen Shalan, who will chair the Arlington Street Fair for the second time this summer, suggested that Olympic Avenue’s storefronts could take part, and recommended Facebook pages to promote community events.

Two Olympic Avenue businesses confirmed that they’re undergoing significant changes. Nola Smith, owner of both The School Box and Pacific Learning Solutions, is consolidating her businesses, complete with a liquidation sale. But this will move her away from her Olympic Avenue storefront.

“I’m going to miss having you as my neighbor,” DABA President Mike Britt said.

The Silver Hanger, meanwhile, is staying on Olympic Avenue, but with a new owner and some planned revamps.

“I heard from one man who came into my shop that he thought we were going out of business,” said Naomi Lieurance, the new owner of The Silver Hangar. “I told him, no, I’m not, because I just got into business here.”

Shalan, owner of the Country Rose on Olympic Avenue, would like to see DABA stage quarterly promotional events, preferably in the evenings.

“We need to have more activities during February and March, which are pretty dead right now,” Shalan said, as she invited her fellow DABA members to brainstorming sessions at her shop.

As Shalan plans the Street Fair, she’s looking into ways of generating more interest without spending as much. She cited the Arlington Idol singing competitions as a cost-effective way of drawing people. The event recruited 120 vendors last year, although most signed up the final two weeks.

When DABA reviewed the effectiveness of their Christmas decorations during the Hometown Holidays, Hatch introduced the idea of involving youth groups to help.

“If the kids paint something or put something up, their parents will come out to see it,” Hatch said.

Britt praised the decorations as “really capturing the essence of the holidays.”

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