There’s more to DFA than parties

Published 9:51 am Friday, May 16, 2014

By Gayle Schmitz

The Downtown Franklin Association: A group of business and property owners and volunteers in Franklin’s Historic District who are finer than frog’s hair!

Whether you are new to Franklin and the surrounding communities or one of those folks who has been here since the beginning of time, the Downtown Franklin Association (DFA) would like to provide an introduction — or a reminder — of what we are all about.

Let’s start with the frog and We Be Jammin’. So many folks think that this great Thursday night event of bands and beer at Barrett’s Landing is what we do. We don’t mind being labeled as the fun people, but there is so much more to us! Over the next many months, we will discuss the origins of the DFA and the Main Street Program — what it is, what it does and what we do. We have a lot to share with you.

Our friendly frog was chosen as the icon on the We Be Jammin’ T-shirts and flyers some time ago. We recently discovered the following information attached to a frog ornament:

“Frogs have long denoted good luck in business. Since a frog only travels forward, he is always progressing and, as such, represents a prosperous future. In the past, a frog ornament was often given as a gift at graduations, weddings or to someone beginning a new business venture.”

We liked this concept and have officially adopted the frog as our overall DFA icon and progressive buddy. So, please jump for joy and get ready for a steady stream of bad frog jokes down the toad — uh, road.

We will also remind you of upcoming events in the Historic Downtown District. In August 2013, we began a new event called “Shop-Wise” — Know Your Neighbor. First, we need to acknowledge that our title for this event apparently confused some folks, who thought they were expected to shop with us. While we are friendly, we aren’t that demanding! So, we have changed the name to “Downtown Business Spotlight” — Know Your Neighbor. We invite you to tour our local businesses, meet the owners and really get to know the products and services available to you in our local downtown. This event is open to our colleagues in the DFA, as well as to all citizens. You will find the details in this newspaper and in flyers around town for each “Downtown Business Spotlight” Know Your Neighbor event. Please consider giving us an hour of your time once every other month so that we can show you what we are all about.

Last February, we inaugurated the First Fat Friday at Fred’s — our take-off on Mardi Gras. There were lots of beads, masks and Tabasco sauce for the New Orleans-style buffet. A $150 prize was awarded to the winner of a hunt for the King’s lost treasure box. We plan to make this an annual event. Fun and money — can’t beat that!

We hope to use the column to educate and interest you in both the work and fun of Downtown Franklin. Do you have questions about a project, business or event? Do you have suggestions? We would be happy to hear ideas and address them in this column as appropriate. Submit questions or comments to Dan Howe, executive director of the DFA, at 562-6900, or via email to Hop on it, and so will we!

GAYLE SCHMITZ is a downtown business owner and can be reached at 516-2660.