Each fall, the population of Fulton swells by approximately 2,000 as students from Westminster College and William Woods University arrive for the start of a new school year. This year, Fulton’s Brick District plans to welcome back the students in style.
The Brick District will host the first “Brick Blast” from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11. Court Street between Fifth and Sixth streets will be blocked off, allowing for easy access to all businesses.
“Fulton is very fortunate to have two quality institutions of higher education,” said Debbie LaRue, Brick District board member. “We want each student to know that Fulton’s downtown is a vibrant and welcoming place for shopping, relaxing and entertainment.”
LaRue says each institution conducted a student survey soliciting students’ opinions on shopping and entertainment options in downtown Fulton. The survey noted that students would like to visit the downtown area if more communication was provided regarding sales and shopping opportunities. Special events and having a place for student activities also would be a draw.
“We value the student input and are taking steps to meet their needs,” said LaRue.
According to Larue, many, if not most, downtown stores will offer discounts to students. Businesses participating in the price breaks will place a decal in their window noting their involvement. The student simply shows his or her student ID to participate in the discount.
Brian and Danielle Warren, owners of Well Read Books on Court Street, invite students to not only review their books, but to also relax in their upstairs lounge.
“We want the students to know we consider them as important guests and ensure that they feel welcome in our store,” said Brian Warren.
During the “Brick Blast,” participating stores will show and sell their wares on the sidewalks. A number of restaurants and venders will provide free food for the students. Local disc jockey, Josh Davis, will emcee and provide entertainment for the event. The first 250 students to attend will receive a custom-designed cinch bag. A scavenger hunt and other fun events also are planned.
“This is far more than a one-and-done event,” said LaRue. “Our goal is to demonstrate to each student that downtown Fulton provides a variety of shopping and dining experiences, competitive prices, and is a great place to be entertained and relax.”
The Brick District also plans to work with each school to ensure that the students know what is going on in the downtown area via social media, email, flyers and table banners. Future plans for drawing students may include extended stores hours on certain days and even showing outdoor movies.
For more information, contact Dan Diedriech at 573-592-4220.