RuralX sparks shop local Santa Day in Castlewood
Breanna Beebe of Castlewood and her colleague, Heidi McBride, were sent to RuralX17 by their employer and one of the event’s Rural Inspiration Sponsors, First Premier Bank. That “inspiration” turned out to be the real deal. Breanna left RuralX17 with her inaugural idea of a Castlewood Main Street beautification project in the form of a “shop local” mural painted on the side of the community grocery store. She was able to get approval from the grocery store owner. The Arts Council agreed to paint it. The City Council paid for supplies.
Since our last check in with Breanna, the community of Castlewood has formed an Economic Development Board of Directors. With new goals focused on developing Castlewood, the group took their first step as a board to invite local business owners to a Shop Local Day.
“We’ve always had a Santa Day in Castlewood and this year we decided to tag-team the day and make it one big event by adding a shop local event,” said Breanna. The economic development board relocated Santa Day to the community center. They thought maybe five businesses would be interested, but 19 businesses joined the Shop Local Santa Day event. “We had numerous businesses, whether in-home or on main street, come out and promote their business or service,” said Breanna.
Along with the opportunity to shop local, children were able to get their picture taken with Santa. Two high school students did the photography and have both recently started photography businesses.
The Castlewood Arts Council partnered with the event and cut tree slices for the children to decorate while parents shopped. The local Historical Society opened up the museum and had sugar cookie decorating for the kids as well.
“I was so happy how our first event turned out. I couldn’t be more thankful. We even heard comments like, I didn’t know Castlewood had all this to offer!” said Breanna.
Creating this event allowed the economic development board to promote local businesses and provide an opportunity for residents to see what businesses in the community have to offer. It is the economic development board’s hope that an annual event like this will inspire someone to bring their business to Castlewood.