Main Street Has Stories To Be Told

To compete in the 21st century economy, Main Streets must draw on a community’s past, its unique heritage and architecture. A range of cultural resources combine to create an ambiance that helps old town centers to become destination spots in the era of Big Box and Internet retailing. The successful ones we see are utilizing these opportunities and developing quality products in a significant way.

The Princess Anne Main Street Partnership is one fine example. They’ve created an excellent, leading edge product, which utilizes the rich heritage of the community by producing a driving tour of the town. While that’s an outstanding idea, the Partnership has taken it to a higher level by producing an audio driving tour that’s delivered over your cell phone. The tour highlights over 300 years of the community’s history from the colonial era to the arrival of the talking picture show.

Here’s what they say: “Visitors to Princess Anne can now experience the authentic Eastern Shore in Princess Anne – the rich heritage of our historic community using their own cell phones. Hear the stories of freemen and slaves, innkeepers, merchants and more. The tour highlights over 300 years of Princess Anne history from the Colonial era . . . to arrival of the “talking” picture show.

We thoroughly enjoyed this outstanding product, which caused us to make Princess Anne a destination for an enjoyable afternoon. Throughout the tour, 68 stories at 40 sites are presented in a dramatic, theatrical style, full of music and other sound effects. Check it out next time you’re down that way. It’s a quality piece of work from the Princess Anne Partnership and it’ll help make Main Street a destination. Kudos to the Princess Anne Partnership.

The tour is brought to you by the Main Street Princess Anne Partnership, and was funded, in part, through a State of Maryland Main Street Improvement Program Grant.
priincess anne main street

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2 responses to “Main Street Has Stories To Be Told

  1. Darn good idea. Why don’t they do one for Elkton. They always talk about how much history town has.

  2. Fred we’re not sure why they don’t do this. Perhaps its because of the technology involved, but certainly Commissioner Jablonski has some awareness of the new technologies that can be leveraged to market a town since that was the focus on a conference for Main Street Managers.

    Beyond the particular situation you inquire about, we suggested they’d leverage their history a little more in all of their types of programming. One of the underlying assumptions in the Main Street program is that a community should draw on its history to revitalize itself. Thus we wished they leverage that a little more and focus on those opportunities.

    We see some interesting things around the area and most of what we see has the Main Street programs drawing heavily on the old buildings and the history of the downtown they’re marketing. Just look at all the walks and things you see around the area and they do get nice crowds.

    Or look, for example, at the mission statement for the Havre de Grace Main Street program. It “exists to promote and enhance the historic character and economic vitality of the downtown business district.” They’re very clear with thier purpose, which is in perfect synch with the founding organization, the National Historical Trust.

    It just seems to us that there are some opportunities to market Elkton by drawing on what they have there.

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