Howell Main St. Unveils Concept Ideas for Downtown's Future

 Howell Main St. Unveils Concept Ideas for Downtown's Future

Howell Main Street Inc. and the Howell Downtown Development Authority have much to keep in mind when planning for the future, having received feedback from community members in the form of a survey and input session.

Posters, maps and sticky notes with ideas were posted all over the walls of the Meabon Room at the Howell Carnegie District Library Thursday night for Howell Main Street Inc.’s “Unveil Open House”. The display was the culmination of consultants, city leadership, Main Street and the DDA’s efforts over the course of several months in which they gleaned data and sought feedback on what the community would like to see in Downtown Howell’s future. Howell Main Street Inc. received the consultation services as a part of their win earlier this year for the National Great American Main Street Award.

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"Deck The Windows" Winners Announced In Howell

"Deck The Windows" Winners Announced In Howell

Winners have been announced in Downtown Howell’s annual holiday storefront decorating contest.

This marked the 5th year of the “Deck the Windows” contest that helps kickoff the holiday season and further beautify downtown. This year's theme was 'The Night Before Christmas' and two businesses win the friendly competition by collecting the most votes for 'People's Choice' or being selected as the best storefront by Mayor Nick Proctor to win the 'Mayor's Choice' Award. Kelley Decoste of Masters Touch was the People's Choice Award Winner, while EnCore 118 Custom Furnishings & Boutique was the Mayor's Choice Award Winner. 

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Friday’s Fantasy of Lights kicking off the holiday season in Howell

Friday’s Fantasy of Lights kicking off the holiday season in Howell

Ready to warm-up to the holiday season? Residents and visitors can join in the festivities on Friday, Nov. 23, in downtown Howell at the Fantasy of Lights. This year’s parade theme is “Wishing You Heartwarming Holidays.”

“The Fantasy of Lights is a wonderful holiday tradition for many families,” said Michelle Tokan, Fantasy of Lights director. “We invite everyone to join us in downtown Howell as we start the celebration.”

The fantasy fun begins at 3:45 p.m. followed by the Fantasy 5K Run at 6 p.m. and the parade at 7 p.m.

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"Deck the Windows" Storefront Decorating Contest Kicks Off Today

 "Deck the Windows" Storefront Decorating Contest Kicks Off Today

Public voting begins today in Downtown Howell’s annual holiday storefront decorating contest.

This marks the 5th year of the "Deck the Windows" contest that helps kickoff the holiday season downtown. Businesses decorate their storefront or front door, chimney, rooftops or the entire building in order to further beautify downtown and kick-off the holiday season. This year's theme is 'The Night Before Christmas' and two businesses will win the friendly competition by collecting the most votes for 'People's Choice' or being selected as the best storefront by Mayor Nick Proctor to win the 'Mayor's Choice' Award. The storefront decorating promotion is a public voting contest held in conjunction with Howell’s annual Fantasy of Lights parade. 

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Specialty retail store in downtown Howell closing as owners retire

  Specialty retail store in downtown Howell closing as owners retire

While shopkeepers Donna and Tim Hostetler have had a good experience owning their rustic home decor shop Up North Decor, they said the time has come to close up and retire. 

The downtown Howell shop at 113 East Grand River Ave. will close before the end of December.

The Hostetlers hope holiday shoppers will clean them out of inventory first. 

"We're going to try to have the store open until just before Christmas," Tim Hostetler, a 67-year-old Howell resident, said. "Our lease runs out at the end of December ... so, the week after Christmas, we'd be taking care of anything in the store to close and have it ready for (building owners) to lease it."

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Survey: Specialty foods market, townhomes wanted in downtown Howell

Survey: Specialty foods market, townhomes wanted in downtown Howell

Howell residents want a sandwich shop downtown. They want a specialty foods market and two-bedroom townhomes.

That's according to results from a Howell Main Street survey released Thursday during an event at the Howell Carnegie District Library. 

There were 774 total respondents of the survey that was open from Oct. 1 to 16. The Downtown Professionals Network out of Franklin, Tennessee served as consultants.  

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Coffee roaster opening new shop in Howell focused on small batches, unique flavors

Coffee roaster opening new shop in Howell focused on small batches, unique flavors

Coffee roaster Kevin Ridge, who founded Black Iron Coffee Roasters about three years ago, opts for uniquely-flavored beans produced in small batches by single farms and co-ops around the world. 

Ridge never uses mass-produced beans in his original handmade blends.

"Depending on where the coffee comes from, kind of like wine, you can get totally different notes," Ridge, a Novi resident, said. "I want to take people on a trip. ...You get different flavors from Central America, Africa, South American, Indonesia and other places."

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Zemper Statue Unveiling To Feature Flyover & Honor Guard Salute

Zemper Statue Unveiling To Feature Flyover & Honor Guard Salute

The unveiling of a statue this weekend will honor the man known to most simply as “Zemp” 

Duane Zemper was 96 when he passed away in 2016, leaving behind a legacy of community service and historical preservation. A decorated World War II combat photographer, Zemp moved to his wife’s hometown of Howell after the war, eventually co-founding the Howell Area Archives, preserving pictures dating back to the 19th century that otherwise would have been lost. He was also a lifelong volunteer, donating both time and money to local organizations including a 66-year record of straight attendance at Howell Rotary meetings. He was also an All-American at Eastern Michigan University and U.S. Olympic track qualifier.

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Howell Main Street Seeks Input on Downtown's Future at Community Forum

 Howell Main Street Seeks Input on Downtown's Future at Community Forum

Community members had the opportunity to share their thoughts on the future of Downtown Howell at an input session hosted by Howell Main Street Inc.

The forum, held at Block Brewing Company in Howell Tuesday, sought feedback from residents, developers, and property and business owners. The event was separated into two parts, the first being a presentation of results from a recent survey that also sought community members’ input on the future of Downtown Howell. Jay Schlinsog, Principal with Downtown Professionals Network, says nearly 800 people responded to the community-wide survey, offering their opinions on land uses, services and experiences that could make the region a more dynamic area. 

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Designing Downtown Howell's Future - Community Input Forum

Designing Downtown Howell's Future - Community Input Forum

Howell Main Street Inc. will host a community input forum this Tuesday, October 30, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Block Brewing Co. All business and property owners, Howell residents, developers and those looking to open a business in the community, are invited to attend and provide their input regarding what they would like to see in their downtown. This community forum is the 2nd step in Main Street’s strategic planning for the future growth and success of downtown Howell. The consultant-based service is provided at no cost due to the support of Main Street America and the Michigan Main Street Center.  

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Howell Main Street Inc. selected as Grand Marshal for the Fantasy of Lights Parade

Howell Main Street Inc. selected as Grand Marshal for the Fantasy of Lights Parade

After receiving the Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) earlier this year, Howell Main Street Inc. has been selected as Grand Marshal of the Fantasy of Lights Parade. The Fantasy of Lights is Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in downtown Howell.

Representing Howell Main Street Inc. and riding in the parade will be Cathleen Edgerly, Howell Main Street C.O.O. and DDA Director as well as Kate Litwin, Howell Main Street Inc.’s Outreach Coordinator. The Grand Marshal is selected based on contributions to the city.

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'Haunted' Howell theater offers public ghost hunts

'Haunted' Howell theater offers public ghost hunts

"We are grateful to the outpouring of interest and attendance each year at our hunts," Tyler DePerro, theater owner, said in a news release. "Theaters are storytelling venues. Part of the story is the paranormal history here. Many people are drawn to learn that story and we are fortunate to be able to provide an opportunity for them to experience it firsthand."

Ghost hunts are 9 to 10:30 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 2-3 and 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

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Birch & Elm closes its downtown Howell, Williamston stores

Birch & Elm closes its downtown Howell, Williamston stores

The Birch & Elm boutique in downtown Howell has closed its doors for good, just five months after it opened.

The store — featuring women’s clothing, paper goods, accessories, Michigan-made gifts and unique home decor items — opened in March 2018 at 213 E. Grand River Ave. in Howell’s Barley Building, next to Cello Italian Ristorante. When it opened, it joined locations in Owosso and Williamston as Birch & Elm’s third store; today, just the Owosso store remains open.

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Eternity Brewing, Aberrant Ales collaborate on special Howell Melon beer

Eternity Brewing, Aberrant Ales collaborate on special Howell Melon beer

Howell brewpubs Eternity Brewing Company and Aberrant Ales collaborated on a project to put two spins on one melon-themed beer in honor of the Howell Melon Festival, which runs Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19, in downtown Howell.

Zac Ebenstein, head brewer at Eternity, and Adam Stout, head brewer at Aberrant Ales, decided together what grains and how much to use, and each brewery decided on their own yeast and hops, so the beers will have a common base, but different flavors, and each can offer a variety to patrons.

The result is Unchained Melondy.

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Community Survey for Future of Downtown Howell

Howell Main Street Inc. has kicked off a 6 month Future of Downtown Development technical service, fully funded through Main Street America and the Michigan Main Street Center.
As part of this service, the project team and Downtown Professional Network consultants have put together a survey to help us a feel for what the community overall is open to and would like to see as our downtown district continues to grow and thrive. Please take a few moments to complete the following survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/howell-mi

PLEASE NOTE: None of these projects are in the pipeline to take place in our Howell. This is simply to help the Main Street consultants gauge what types of designs and businesses you think would be a good fit for our downtown's future. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey and feel free to share with others!

After collecting survey responses later this month, Howell Main Street Inc. will hold a couple of public input sessions, and we would love to have you join us! Sessions will be held on the following dates:

Downtown Futures Community Input Forum - Tuesday, October 30th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Block Brewing Company
Futures Reveal and Open House Event - Thursday, November 1 from 4:00-7;00 p.m. in the Meabon Room at the Howell Carnegie District Library

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Pop-Up Parks Flying into Downtown Howell

Pop-Up Parks Flying into Downtown Howell

Roll-Out Flying Grass Carpet included in Pop-Up Park Project, the first-ever in the Country

Howell MI – A new temporary community space is flying into downtown Howell this week. But this isn’t an ordinary space. It’s the first of its kind to make its debut in the United States! After representing Howell and the State of Michigan at the International Placemaking Conference in Amsterdam, Howell Main Street staff brought back a unique temporary roll-out green space with them. This Pop-Up space was created in response to the community’s request to have more public green space where families and our city’s youth felt comfortable playing, eating, and just enjoying the downtown.

The carpet will be rolled out for its debut in front of the County Courthouse this coming Tuesday, July 10th for Food Truck Tuesday attendees from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Following the food trucks, the community is invited for a Soulshine Yoga Gentle Flow class on the carpet Wednesday, July 11th at 9:30 a.m. The July debut will then wrap up with the Pop-Up Park set-up on State Street the evening of July 11th for Rock the Block!

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Summer Fun Continues at July 11th Rock the Block in Downtown Howell

Summer Fun Continues at July 11th Rock the Block in Downtown Howell

Free music, food, games and local breweries bring family-fun for 2nd Rock the Block music series of the season

Howell MI –Rock the Block kicked-off the season with an all new format, food, and fun. The community embraced the changes with over 1200 attendees dancing the night away in downtown Howell!  The popular music and foodie series returns Wednesday, July 11th, with live music, food, and brews from Howell breweries and other food vendors.  

“Combining the music, food and brews all within two larger venues, not only allowed us to attract larger bands, but gave the entire event more of a festival atmosphere for attendees to enjoy” states Howell Main Street Inc. C.O.O., Cathleen Edgerly. We look forward to having even more people come check out the event, shop our downtown businesses and experience our excellent dining and pub venues! Plus, we will have some surprises for the kids at our State Street location this month.  We can’t wait to see everyone there!

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Two new hidden murals in Howell feature gangsters, opera themes

Two new hidden murals in Howell feature gangsters, opera themes

Two new murals are "hidden" in Howell, slightly off the beaten path.
The artworks are outside for easy access, but both are located behind buildings, in alleyways.
They both also feature historic scenes – one from the 1920s and the other from the late 1800s.
Artist Stacy Karnes and his assistant, Kelly Beacome, completed their painting of a “1920s speak easy street scape” on Tuesday, about 15 days after they began. The mural graces two walls of the building that houses 2FOG's Pub. However, much like first-time patrons of the pub, art aficionados may also pass the building located at 118 West Grand River without knowing the entrance, and now the painting, is behind it.

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June Rock the Block Offers Attendees New Format, Same Great Music & Fun in Downtown Howell

June Rock the Block Offers Attendees New Format, Same Great Music & Fun in Downtown Howell

Music and food series has two new sites offering music, food and brews, all in one spot!

Howell MI – Rock the Block, the annual music festival that has become a staple of the summer scene in Howell, kicks off on June 6, 2018, from 6 – 9 pm. At the June event, attendees will experience a new format from Howell Main Street Inc., designed to better accommodate the increasing number of people that were drawn to downtown for this festive summer event! Additionally, it will be upgrading the availability of local cuisine by partnering with restaurants & other local vendors, featuring meal-portioned food options instead of “bites”. Also new to the event this year, local brewers Aberrant Ales and Eternity Brewing will participate.

“Rock the Block has become one of the most anticipated events of summer in downtown Howell,” said Cathleen Edgerly, Howell Main Street COO. “The community has embraced the festival and it is a great example of the vibrant downtown that Howell has nurtured, and one of the events that helped our community be recognized with the 2018 Great American Main Street Award. We’ve taken the feedback given by attendees and partners the last couple of years, and made updates to make Rock the Block even more enjoyable for everyone!

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