The City of Fayetteville government exists to maintain and promote a high quality of life for its residents and guests, and nowhere is this effort demonstrated more than in our Main Street Department, which is run under the auspices of the City’s Economic Development Department.
Downtown Development Director Brian Wismer, Main Street Program Manager Joyce Waits, and Main Street Program Assistant Julie Herbert work hard to serve businesses and residents located in Fayetteville’s Main Street District, but they serve a much wider community through the many festivals and other events they coordinate throughout the year. Of course, they do not work alone, as they are supported by a Main Street Tourism Association board of directors as well as scores of volunteers.
Some of the larger and higher-profile events on the Main Street Fayetteville calendar include the springtime Taste of Fayette, the Fayette Idol competition each September, and The Great Pumpkin Festival, which is coming up Oct. 27-28. One of the most popular events is the season-ending Christmas on Main Street, planned this year for Dec. 1.
“We start working on these signature events several months out,” said Waits, who leads Main Streets event planning efforts. “It takes a lot of time and coordination to ensure these events are presented well to the community. We continue to focus on events that are family-friendly and that bring people to Historic Downtown Fayetteville.”
Waits is in her 13th year with Main Street Fayetteville. She says she loves collaborating with community members to provide the kind of event programming they want to experience.
Herbert is in her third year with Main Street Fayetteville.
“I enjoy the people I work with and the building I work in (the Old Fayette County Courthouse), but mostly I love the locals and people from around the U.S. and from other countries I get to meet and talk to on a daily basis,” Herbert said.
Herbert herself is from Southampton, England, though she considers herself “a Georgia girl” now.
Wismer, Waits and Herbert agree Main Street Fayetteville couldn’t succeed without the enormous amount of event support received from volunteers.
“We love our volunteers,” Waits said. “We could not do our job without them.”
Waits explained that some events see as many as 60 to 70 volunteers working at least one shift, and some working two or more.
“We do try to treat our volunteers well,” Waits added. “We honor them each year during our December appreciation dinner, and we give them food tokens and tickets at certain events so they can enjoy the fruit of their labor as well. It’s a small way for us to say ‘thank you’ for their generous donations of time and other resources.”