Written by: Executive Director Dominic Tartaglia
The coming of November certainly marks many changes with shorter days, cooler weather, the smell of fireplaces burning in the evening, a little bit of frost on the local trails and couples bundled up at the market. It also marks some critical changes for our local folks with several critical ballot measures and a competitive race for seats on the City Council. This is the way of so many countless Novembers for us that sometimes we forget about how lucky we are to publicly get together with an idea, discuss it, craft it into a proposal, put it on the ballot and vote on it as a community. Ironically we have our elections in the same month each year as Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. With the sequence of events of Election Day on November 4th, Veterans Day on November 11th and Thanksgiving on November 27th, it is safe to say that we all have a lot to be thankful for this fall.
The San Luis Obispo Downtown Association has deep-rooted traditions in this community not too different than the aforementioned annual traditions across America. While we do not hold any special recognition of Election Day you can bet your bottom dollar that we are expecting each of our residents and business owners to get to their polling place and express your right to vote with special consideration of maintaining our amazing town. We will be supporting a Cal Poly student lead program this fall to increase voter registration in the community to help advocate for young or first time voters to get educated on the matters that affect the community that they live in. The student body intends to have students take an educated and responsible look at their right to vote as well as the policy that makes SLO such a special place.
That right to vote is a freedom and right that all Americans have and if it weren’t for the generations of dedicated servicemen and servicewomen, we may not have that right. We recognize this and consider Veteran’s Day not only a day to stop and reflect appreciatively on our veterans but also as a time to celebrate the victories and freedoms that they have afforded our country through their sacrifice. In honor of those that have worn a uniform for our country we are hosting our annual Veterans Celebration at Farmers’ Market on November 6th from 6-9PM. Each year our market becomes a tribute to the veterans with the Grizzly Youth Academy color guard, singing of the National Anthem, a veteran’s presentation, procession through Farmers’ Market and numerous related booths and decoration. The tradition has grown each year and we hope that as it grows it shows our deep appreciation to past and present soldiers. The public is encouraged to come down and join in the celebration and show your support too.
Following the Veterans Celebration Downtown many businesses will be changing up their window displays with the seasonal decorations of Thanksgiving and winter with the knowledge that just around the corner in December we will be having our annual Holiday Window Decorating Contest. In the period of just a few weeks the windows will transform from pumpkins and autumn leaves to ornaments and snow to entice curious shoppers maybe even win the first place honor in the process. On December 1st our crew of judges will officially critique the windows and award points to various attributes but their judging doesn’t start there. As soon as those decorations go up our judges are taking notes and keeping track of what each business has in mind for the holiday spirit.
If you are feeling anxious about your holiday spirit this November rest assured that the Downtown Association is here to help you out. Our Promotions Committee is hard at work to bring you this year’s parade theme, A Hula Holiday. While many towns across the country are planning their holidays around ice skating and winter parkas our office has our minds on surfing and grass skirts, a true testament to the California sunshine. Let the other states have their true winter indoors, we’ll take our holiday activities to the backyard.
Speaking of holiday activities, Santa’s House and the Downtown Holiday Carousel land in Mission Plaza this month. The SLOcal tradition of visiting Santa’s House at the Mission Plaza goes back for decades and somewhere in the archives there is a photograph or two of yours truly visiting Santa for the first time. The opening day for the house comes on Black Friday and offers the best alternative to waiting in line at big box stores. Why wait in line to fight off the hordes of people crowding all around you when you can come downtown and shop in our locally owned shops with friendly staff that is eager to help you find the perfect gifts this season. If the shopping gets too intense Santa is ready for you and the kids to come take a load off and sit on his lap. With the best Santa’s House in the county it’s easy to steer clear of the chaos of the mall and make a beeline for Downtown.
Lastly, with all of the events going on this month I want to say that I am thankful for all of the support from you. The San Luis Obispo Downtown Association is dedicated to serving all of our community and as business owners, residents, members of Council, City employees, guests and students you deserve to have the very best downtown in the country. When you come to our events or send us comments on our Facebook page we feel the love and it feels just as great as a big old bear hug from Downtown Brown at Farmers’ Market.
Thank you all!