Though downtown Lincolnton was originally founded in 1785, due to its regular upkeep and seasonal decor, it is still the go-to place for both a welcoming walk and the perfect picture. Thanks to local business owners and the Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton (DDA), this summer will be no different. Lincolnton is dressed for the most patriotic time of the year with banners, flags and flowers.
“The Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton is leading the way to develop and forge efforts to revitalize Lincolnton’s historic Downtown District as a vibrant, social and economic hub while preserving the community’s cultural heritage and enhancing the quality of life for residents, merchants, visitors and other stakeholders” said Betty Flohr, executive director of the DDA since November 2018.
The DDA board consists of the chair, Tommy Huskey, the vice chair, Marcy Rau, the secretary, Judy Botkin, the treasurer, Wayne Hoyle and Flohr, as well as 15 board members. Though the Downtown Development Association is responsible for keeping downtown Lincolnton attractive to the public, Flohr and the DDA have praised the dedication of local business owners who have chosen to spend their time making the city beautiful.
“Several merchants took a box and have planted flowers,” Flohr said. “These merchants as well as the members of the DDA they have been diligent to come out almost every day and come out and water these flowers. It is a big deal because this is personal money that they have invested their personal time and money into this.”
The businesses that currently maintain a flower boxes are Everything But the Dress/Precious Time Events, Vintage Rescues, The Owls' Nest, Untapped Territory, Treasures on Main and Just Around the Corner.
Though downtown Lincolnton has many shops and restaurants, Flohr believes that the upkeep of the city is vital to keep people coming downtown.
“We want out downtown to be vibrant and we want it to be a destination for social activities going on, we do anything we can do to help drive traffic downtown whether it be to live or to shop, or to eat, or to drink,” she said. “A lot of the time people base their perception of the businesses on their initial sight of the downtown, so it has to be appealing.”
Flour also emphasizes the importance of having a beautiful city in the age of social media as now when someone shares a picture of the city it may draw in more people to visit.
“We have some gorgeous butterfly wings in the tunnel on the rail trail and people stop and take pictures there all the time and they hashtag Lincolnton or they hashtag downtown Lincolnton so it gets our name out to people who will want to make the drive,” Flohr said.
The DDA hopes to make the bridge located next to Art on Main a focal point as well, where people will come to take photos or just to look. The location of the bridge makes it one of the first things seen when driving in toward the courthouse, which is why the DDA has chosen to focus their efforts on its upkeep, and would like to give everyone the chance to get involved.
“Any merchant who would like to have a flower box to plant and maintain in the fall please contact the DDA,” Flohr said. “We would love to have everyone's participation. We are happy to rotate as the season changes.”
Through the efforts of local business owners and the Downtown Development Association, and both locals and visitors taking and sharing photos, downtown Lincolnton will continue to grow, as more and more people discover its charm.
“We’re proud of our downtown, it’s grown so much, but it has so much more potential,” Flohr said.