Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's a New Year!

Happy New Year from Friends of Norwood Center!

2013 marks the second year for FNC and we thought now would be a good time to list a few things that FNC has been involved with in the effort to revitalize downtown Norwood.

We created a website and created a social media profile for Friends of Norwood Center.  FNC instituted MEAL MOBS in Downtown Norwood. Our first was at the Common Cafe on Washington street, aptly across from the Norwood Town Common. Modeled on the flash mobs and cash mobs of growing popularity, we asked people to visit the cafe for lunch and enjoy supporting their local business at a specific date and time. FNC organized many of these Meal Mobs in 2012. Look for the first of 2013 coming soon!

FNC conducted a survey of Downtown Usage as well as a Census of Downtown Businesses. For our inaugural year, it was important to introduce ourselves as a merchant organization and get to know the businesses we're supporting.

We helped facilitate a successful Farmers Market, recently moved to the Norwood Town Common. The Farmers Market had all new farmers, a new Farmers Market Advisory Board, and a Farmers Market Manager, Laura Valls. Every Tuesday from 12-6 the Market welcomed fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as organic eggs, meats, cheese, fresh fish, olive oil, and more! We hope you took advantage of the treasures of the market and will join the Market in 2013.

In February we held a Community Input Meeting where we learned what things locals want from their downtown. The ideas ranged from quick-to-implement to pie-in-the-sky and all contributions were welcomed. The meeting helped us set the agenda for 2012 and 2013.

We invited artists to paint in downtown. We partnered with Together Yes to bring Earth Day Events to you in April. Saturdays became Spending Saturdays -- look for more info on this in 2013! The Norwood Theatre held our interest for much of the summer as we anticipated its grand re-opening and no one could visit Norwood Center without seeing the new NORWOOD lit sign atop the theatre. Beautiful!

In late Fall there was Norwood Day - the spectacle of civic pride on a gorgeous day that started up a bit rainy but soon cleared for a day of fun. FNC had a table at Norwood Day and we worked with the Recreation Department on their carved pumpkin project.

Charles River Running came to Downtown Norwood and we welcomed the new addition happily. What fun it is to see the storefront alive again with merchandise and seasonal decorations. FNC had been in talks with Charlotte Walsh at early stages of the store's inception. We are happy to have be a resource of support for this vibrant new local business.

New Restaurants are in town! Arianna's, To Beruit, Unsal's Pizza, Broadway Pizza and Grill, and Thai Boo are all in Norwood Center. Have you tried them? If not, try them soon!

In October we welcomed a new FNC president, Nicole McCready of Envy Boutique and had a successful fundraiser at the Olde Colonial Cafe, thanks to everyone for their support of our mission. Later in the month FNC was invited to speak to the Norwood League of Women Voters. We've had numerous opportunities to connect with the community throughout the year. You may also have seen FNC at the Annual Town Meeting and featured on Norwood Cable numerous times on different shows. We may have begun the year a bit camera-shy but can't stay so for long when discussing Norwood Center.

The year ended with the Holiday Extravaganza and the first annual Reindeer Dash. Did you see the participants in reindeer antlers and jingle bells running around the common in this fantastic kids' race in bitter cold? What a great event it was with enthusiastic kids, some as young as two, giving it their all!

The year ended with a Holiday Stroll, the Circle of Hope Luminary, and amazing shows at the Norwood Theatre. It was a busy 2012 and we're excited about 2013!

Friends of Norwood Center

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