Friday, July 21, 2017

Revive Refresh Renew?

Remember when I wrote about how effective ice cream is at getting folks to come out to an event in the summer?  Last night I discovered another fabulous draw for those hot summer evenings: water.

My school is one of the sponsors of the Family Concert events at the Fair Hills Shops in Olney this summer. Fair Hills describes itself as an "Upscale Experience, Hometown Convenience." Each Summer they host weekly events with music but the star attraction is really their mini splash pad. Kids come in their bathing suits, or just run in and out fully clothed. There are plenty of places to sit, plus tables with umbrellas for shade.

Folks pick up dinner from the adjacent Subway or Panera and make a night of it. There's even a full service restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking the plaza where all this activity is taking place. Every so often someone would appear with ice cream from the nearby Baskin Robbins, causing a flurry of ice cream requests from those who saw the tempting treats go by. 

Last night's musician had the gentler sounds of Jimmy Buffet, John Denver, and the Beatles in his repertoire, with a few songs aimed just at the little ones. He had a comfortable, easy rapport with the crowd. 

So what does this all have to do with Columbia?

Well, I received a press release yesterday which begins like this:

Columbia Association (CA) and the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) are collaborating on a new initiative to support retailers in Columbia’s nine village centers.

The Columbia Village Centers Retail Development Program is being implemented to strengthen the village centers as retailing and community gathering destinations, and will assist small business retailers with technical resources to help ensure their success.

I think this is great news. Collaboration and cooperation between the powers that be in Columbia and Howard County is what Village Green/Town² is all about. I look forward to learning more about their goals. 

In the meantime, I have one request, and I'm getting it in early. I want a fountain, just like the Fair Hills fountain. Preferably in Oakland Mills. 

Just imagine the possibilities.

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