Manistee DDA reviews 2019 sponsored events

MANISTEE — The Manistee Downtown Development Authority (DDA) had plenty to discuss at its regular meeting on Wednesday. A topic that has been resurfacing over the past few months is the DDA’s undecided 2019 sponsored event list.

Currently, the DDA is in the process of restructuring its events, eliminating events as DDA sponsored, and among many other details, re-formalizing the process with a standard contract, outlining what would need to be completed in order for the DDA to sanction an event.

However, more conversation still needs to be held in the future around the issue.

At the meeting on Wednesday, board members decided to eliminate the sidewalk sales and Men’s and Ladies Nights from the 2019 list of DDA supported events. All events planned to take place during the remaining portion of 2018 will still be held.

“There’s a motion and support to eliminate sidewalk sales and Men’s and Ladies Nights as DDA sponsored events (in 2019) with the intention of turning them over to the downtown merchants going forward,” said Barry Lind, DDA vice chair. “This would be for the next fiscal year.”

At a Nov. 14 meeting, the DDA voted to continue to hold Hops and Props, Spark Manistee, the Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend and re-add the Frostbite Chili Crawl to the 2019 list of events, with Shelley Doyan and DDA chair Rachel Brooks organizing Frostbite.

Still up for discussion is the TGIF Friday events.

Also on Wednesday, a few board members volunteered to organize Women’s Wine and Chocolate for 2019. The DDA is considering holding and sponsoring the event, if the committee is able to come back with solidified plans — along with other requirements.

Nicole Knapp, owner of The Fillmore Manistee, said she would work with DDA members on a committee to help organize Women’s, Wine and Chocolate, but she suggested rebranding the event. Knapp also suggested rebranding Hops and Props for 2019.

“Women’s Wine and Chocolate needs to be rebranded to be encompassing of everyone,” said Knapp.

DDA members Karen Goodman, Shari Wild and Tamara DePonio were also on board with the idea.

“I would work on this with someone else,” said DePonio. “I would want to start this right away.”

The committee would need to have solid plans ready for the Jan. 9 DDA meeting.

“The motion is to request the chairs of the Women’s Wine and Chocolate event to rebrand and provide to the board (a plan) by Jan. 9, 2019, for consideration of (the) DDA’s support,” said T. Eftaxiadis, DDA secretary and board member.

A sub-committee was established at a past meeting to talk about events, and further explore how to improve event organization and create more of a formal process in holding them.

In the future, Boos, Brews and Brats is still to be hosted by the Manistee Elks, at this time.


Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or

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