Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Downtown Perrysburg group looks back on year


Kelly Sell, left, and Lisa Richard, center, join other members in chatting before the Downtown Perrysburg Inc. annual general membership meeting at the Auditorium of the Perrysburg Schools Board of Education building in Perrysburg. The group met to review 2012 accomplishments and preview 2013 plans.

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Downtown Perrysburg Inc. is planning another slate of activities for 2013 designed to bring folks to the city's historic downtown district for entertainment and for patronage of local businesses.

"Our focus is to provide a venue ... to really celebrate the community," executive director Rick Thielen said.

The nonprofit group recently held its annual meeting to review its efforts for the past year, which included well-attended events like WinterFest and Rock the Docks.

"Our organization is pretty young, and we've accomplished a lot," president Kerry Wellstein told board members and representatives Thursday at the Commodore Building in Perrysburg.

She said she often hears people citing DPI events as why they enjoy living in and visiting Perrysburg. Many events are free, including outdoor movie nights, Halloween pumpkin carving, and First Friday vendor fairs.

"It's great to see Perrysburg coming together as a community," said Kelly Sell, an office assistant with DPI merchant partner Skotynsky Financial.

More than 40 area business belong to DPI. Memberships range from individual spots at $25 to a $1,000 level with benefits such as free booth rentals and event tickets.

Ms. Wellstein emphasized that while DPI works with the city of Perrysburg to hold concerts, street fairs, and holiday festivals, all financial support is privately raised.

"We raise every single dollar," Ms. Wellstein said.

In 2012, DPI reported income of $99,704, the majority from sponsorships but other significant portions from drink ticket sales, event admissions, and business partner membership dues.

It spent $99,573 for the year, with about a quarter of that going to salaries and wages and the rest covering entertainment, equipment rental, beer and wine, marketing, and other business costs.

The large ice sculptures at WinterFest are both a source of income and a major event attraction, DPI vice president and treasurer Rob Brunner said.

"It's a big part of how we raise money for it," he said.

Mr. Brunner said that for $250, businesses can have an ice sculpture custom-made in the design of their company logo or other creative scenes. He said the pieces were conversation starters and essentially advertising that would pay for itself in word of mouth.

Winterfest includes beer- and wine-tasting events, for which there will be 500 tickets each at the 2013 event. Ms. Wellstein said they sold out last year. Tickets for the Feb. 22-24 event will be available for purchase right after Christmas.

Such events take a great deal of volunteer help, board member Jeff Elmore said, and he is hoping to create a database of folks willing to help out.

"We really would like to expand that aspect of the group," he said.

Downtown Perrysburg Inc. can be found online at downtownperrysburg.com and its social media page at facebook.com/DowntownPerrysburg.

Its 2013 calendar of events includes:

Feb. 22-24: WinterFest

March 16: Hurry Up Summer

May 2: Perrysburg High School Art Show (proposed)

June 7: First Friday

July 14: Outdoor Family Movie Night

Aug. 2: First Firday

Aug. 3: Annual Cruise by the River Car Show

Aug. 18: Outdoor Family Movie Night

Sept. 8: First Friday

Sept. 14: Rock the Docks

Oct. 26: OctoBOOfest

Nov. 23: Indoor Holiday Family Movie Night (proposed)

Nov. 24: Home for the Holidays Parade and Tree Lighting

Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at 419-356-8786, rconklin@theblade.com, or on Twitter @RebeccaConklinK.


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