Council hears Sidney Alive update

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — The Sidney City Council heard a Sidney Alive presentation Monday reviewing 2020 and upcoming events for 2021.

Sidney Alive Executive Director Amy Breinich provided the annual update on the organization to council members at Monday’s workshop session. Prior to the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic, Breinich said they were off to a great start in 2020. Among things that was happening pre-pandemic, she said included the prom dress consignment, the beginning of the City Visions downtown revitalization strategy and community re-branding plans, as well as two new events slated — the Music & Arts Festival and the Paddles, Peddles and Pints. Also early in 2020 was a city focus group of investors and new businesses opening.

Post-pandemic announcement the organization has been finding its way, she noted, as numerous events were cancelled or reformed. But Sidney Alive’s team powered through the challenges and reset for 2021, Breinich reported.

“Because we didn’t have a date for the health orders lifting until April, we are unable to put together the full Music & Arts Festival,” Breinich said when announcing a Community Block Party will be held in its place this year.

The Community Block Party is set for June 19 downtown. The event will be a scaled down version of the Music & Arts Festival, Breinich said, which is in conjunction with the city also welcoming a scaled down version of Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA), called the Western Ohio Bicycle Adventure (WOBA).

The block party will feature: the Sidney Civic Band on Friday evening, the Great Sidney Farmer’s Market Saturday, a United Way Kidz Zone, food trucks, the Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area or DORA, and the Historic Sidney Theatre’s ‘Sidney’s Got Talent’ competition on the Marquee Stage. The event will also have live music on the square, featuring bands Thick & Thin and Evolution, and Mikey Wayne — sponsored by Ferguson Construction — to end the evening on the Marquee Stage.

Another new event slated for this year is Paddles, Peddles and Pints, set for Sept. 12. This event, in conjunction with Sidney Parks Department, includes a bike tour, kayak trip, kickball tournament, food trucks, activities, craft beer and soda tasting. The goal is to raise money for the Great Miami Riverway Bike Trail construction and maintenance, and for downtown Sidney revitalization. Additional sponsorships will be sought for the event.

Other events planned for 2021, include the following:

• Aug. 3 — National Night Out;

• Aug. 20 — The Amazing Downtown Race;

• Sept. 2 — Open Air Dinner on the Square;

• Oct. 7 — Annual Downtown Chocolate Walk;

• Oct. 9 — Boos & Brews Fall Festival;

• Oct. 30 — Murder Mystery Dinner;

• Nov. 10-13 — Holiday Shop Hop;

• Nov. 24 — Downtown Sidney Holiday Lights Grand Illumination;

• Dec. 4 — Winter Wonderland Parade/Christmas of Yesteryear.

Breinich went on to report the DORA is open and “going really well” with no issues, complaints or problems with trash in the downtown.

“A DORA,” Breinich said, “is a another tool to help promote our community’s growing vibrant downtown as a destination for dining, retail and entertainment.”

She gave a quick review about the DORA, explaining patrons age 21 and older may purchase an alcoholic beverage from an approved, liquor-permitted establishment, and then sip, stroll, shop and explore within the DORA boundaries. She also displayed pictures of what the specific plastic cups given to patrons and signs posted around the DORA look like.

During council member questions, Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan thanked Breinich for her work and also noted she hears a lot of questions from friends about the rules within the DORA. Milligan added it can be difficult to manage a full drink along with navigating one’s phone to open up information about those rules. Perhaps better placed signs at businesses in the DORA containing that information may be helpful, they agreed.

Council members Ed Hamaker and Steve Wagner thanked Breinich and Sidney Alive’s team/volunteers for their good work.

Mayor Mike Barhorst asked Breinich if she could see empty buildings downtown filling up in the future. Breinich said yes, but the main problem is finding the appropriate space for the type of business coming downtown.

In other business, Public Works Director Jon Crusey reviewed the upcoming Zoning Board/Planning Commission Agenda for Monday, June 21, 2021, and review the prospective City Council Agenda items for the next 30 days.

In final business, City Council went into an executive session to consider the employment of a public employee and to prepare for negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees. No action was taken by council when the meeting resumed in the public forum.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.