TOWANDA — Circles and squares spotlighted in Towanda Friday night, but not just because school is back in session!
The inaugural Central Bradford County Chamber of Commerce Square and Round Dance stepped, promenaded and do-si-doed into the Plaza One Building’s parking lot Friday night from 7 until 10 p.m. attracting a large and lively crowd.
Citizens of all ages gathered for the night’s festivities taking advantage of a late summer night of food trucks, friendships and old fashioned fun.
CBCCC’s Executive Director Cait Monahon stated that the dance was initiated by Jim Good, a CBCCC board member after he attended a similar event in Canton and was offered free of admission charge thanks to four local business sponsors Arey Building Supply, Henry Dunn, Mountain Lake Construction and Mountain Lake Electric.
“Things I feel like really fell into place for this all because someone was like I think we should have a square dance,” she stated.
Williamsport’s McNett Country Band provided the night’s music while a local food truck sold snacks, ice cream truck sold sweets and a children’s Hokey Pokey was held along with classic dances.
“I think this is an important event because it’s bringing us into town, it’s a family activity that’s free to the community. … Who doesn’t like live music on a Friday night and we have beautiful weather,” Monahon said.
Monahon stated that the CBCCC would like to continue to grow the dance next year with the addition of more children’s activities.
The Endless Mountains Heritage Region is teaming up with the Route 6 Alliance to bring in a program to improve facades and signage along the Route 6 corridor in Bradford and Wyoming counties.
According to Endless Mountains Heritage Region Executive Director Cain Chamberlin, the Route 6 Alliance has already submitted an application for the funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Keystone Communities program. On Thursday, he approached the Bradford County Commissioners for a letter of support to help get the program off of the ground.
Chamberlin said he’s already received support from the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency and Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, and was seeking additional endorsements through both counties’ planning commissions as well as commissioners in Wyoming County.
“Obviously, a lot of our main streets around the area have dwindled over the years for different reasons, so we would like to see some streetscapes revitalized, give people the opportunity to get some funding to do that,” he said, noting that any facade improvements must face Route 6.
Grants would fund 50% of a project on a given property, not to exceed $5,000.
With the required matches, the Facade Program would represent a little more than a $240,000 investment into the area. Chamberlin added that the PA Wilds Region is just wrapping up its program and it has been successful.
Chamberlin has already reached out to the communities that could benefit from the program, and hopes to organize public meetings in both counties in the fall to gauge interest.
“Just to see some of these major downtown business districts revamped would be really nice for the region,” he said.
Bradford County’s Room Tax Grant program will soon welcome applications once again.
Robyn Cummings, the executive director of the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency, informed the commissioners on Thursday that the 2019-2020 Room Tax Grant cycle will begin on Sept. 3, and close Oct. 11.
Those seeking funding can find applications on the www.visitbradfordcounty.com website or request them by emailing email@example.com.
“While we don’t have an exact number yet of the amount of funds that will be available, each quarter’s revenue last year was up from the 2018-2019 cycle, so we’re anticipating at least $102,000,” said Cummings, basing the estimate on the previous cycle.
“A lot of visitors bureaus don’t offer grant programs, so this is something that we are excited to maintain and offer Bradford County,” she added.
Projects applicable for the grant program include signage, way-finding aids, and promotions.