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Downtown Monroe kickstarts new events
Wedding season expo set for Cinco de Mayo

MONROE — The Downtown Monroe Association (DMA) has been busy, as bird lovers and brides-to-be will soon discover.
Executive director Joie Worthen shared the nonprofit’s efforts to promote downtown, including a wedding event and placing a flock of swift sculptures throughout the downtown core, at the April 10 City Council meeting.
Marry Me in Monroe begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, and is followed by a “Wine-ing Bridesmaids Wine Walk” starting at 5 p.m.
The DMA is touting the event as an escape from high-priced wedding planners in a region abundant with gorgeous venues.
“We’ve spent considerable time with our feet on the pavement, sometimes in high heels” canvassing the region, said DMA president Patty Glenn, an experience that yielded results and blisters.
Tickets are $20 and include samples and special offers from a bevy of vendors. The DMA lined up bakeries and caterers but innovated with a tattoo shop and tax preparer, bringing the practical and artistic add-ons to the traditionally narrow bridal fair category. Brides will also find hair and fashion experts, photographers, and artists on hand.
And for brides who desire to be a little more trim or a little less stressed before the big day, theDMA promises they can connect with fitness and yoga options at the event.
After a brief interlude when the wedding event ends at 4 p.m., a wine walk begins at 5 p.m. Six businesses will host beer and wine tastings and others will serve up their best bites. For $25, attendees will receive eight tasting tokens, food samples and a commemorative wine glass.
More wine walks are in the works for summer.
The wedding event was not the only news from the DMA. They have a new logo and a new leader in Glenn. She replaced DMA founding member Dianne Forth, who stepped into the vice president role in February.
The seasonal visit by thousands of migrating Vaux’s swifts was the inspiration for the DMA logo unveiled at the meeting. The image features two swifts, pale grey and
purple, that reference the city’s branding. The organization says the handcrafted look represents the area’s artisanal offerings and the pair of birds speaks to cooperation, which the DMA considers a core value.
The DMA has been selling swift sculptures for $95 each, including 25 to be individually placed throughout downtown; only about 10 remain, Worthen said. The stainless steel birds will entice visitors to complete a “swift quest” that takes them through downtown and identifies 25 notable figures in Monroe history.
The DMA has also been selling a run of swifts to add to the “Wagner Swifts” sculpture at the northwest corner of Main and Lewis streets. When complete, the sculpture will boast a swirl of 300 of the iconic fowl, each engraved with their purchaser’s name.
The city helps fund the DMA with a $25,000 annual stipend that provides a salary for a half-time director. It contributes an additional $15,000 toward Marry Me in Monroe, a fall Downtown Hoedown event, and general tourism marketing.
More information on the DMA and its events is available at www.downtownmonroeassociation.com/

 

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