Downtown Salina will get a new show stage and add entertainment events

Growing downtown is a top priority for Salina Downtown. Last week, the organization took a step further to help Santa Fe Avenue remain a thriving thoroughfare – they moved to Downtown Street.

Although the group liked being housed in the Salina Chamber of Commerce building, moving to 134 S. Santa Fe Ave. brings them a little closer to the pulse of the community.

“We’re right in the middle of downtown,” said Leslie Bishop, the organization’s executive director. “I feel really good because it’s easy access for both our traders and anyone who visits.”

In addition to convenience, the nonprofit will be able to place signage on the building and introduce a sandwich panel in the front.

Continued:Prairieland Market prepares to expand and relocate to Santa Fe Avenue

Create more activities in downtown Salina

Along with the city, Salina Downtown is helping open a show stage on Santa Fe Avenue and Ash Street. This stage is set to open on May 6, with a Salina Arts and Humanities event. On May 7, Visit Salina will host the Sculpture Unboxing Event, featuring 23 sculptures.

The stage is housed in a parking lot that was recently remodeled, making it easier for visitors to set up chairs at upcoming music and arts events.

From 2-5 p.m. on May 7, Salina Downtown will host a Spring Spritzer, featuring food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and entertainment.

“Salina Downtown Incorporated will continue the neighborhood celebration with what we call a Spring Spritzer,” Bishop said.

In addition to dancers from the Tamara Howe School of Dance and the Sunset Sinners, Steve Howard of the Cozy Inn will make an appearance for its 100th anniversary, as Salina celebrates the restaurant’s continued service to the community.

Upcoming Activities in Downtown Salina

Painting of the Salina zip code near the Santa Fe Avenue scene in downtown.

During the rest of the summer until October, on the first Friday of each month, SDI will offer live shows. These early evening events are meant to kick off the weekend and bring the community together.

“Our goal is to support all of downtown,” Bishop said. “Our goal is to bring both local Salina and downtown for their groceries and meals.”

With more than a dozen restaurants, a new hotel, and dozens of shops to choose from, SDI seeks to strengthen the downtown economic footprint and keep the storefronts busy and thriving.

Continued:Cozy Inn celebrates 100 years of slider service at its six-stool restaurant

In addition to having a late summer start to the school year, SDI hopes to increase holiday celebrations.

“Our ultimate goal, hopefully by the end of 2023, is to have an outdoor market at least two Saturdays a month, at least certainly in summer and spring,” Bishop said. “We could have a farmers market one Saturday and then on the third Saturday have more (a local vendors event).

Both markets will need city approval, but for SDI, dreaming up new possibilities is key to helping downtown thrive.

Continued:New company Salina helps children learn through play

“I’m just raising awareness of the importance of buying local because when you buy local, that money stays here in our economy, and it (keeps) a personal touch (in the community), and people know your name when you walk in (to their store),” Bishop said. “Having that one-on-one experience is necessary for us as humans.

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Jennifer R. Strohm