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Scarecrow Contest in Downtown Hart!

It's time to decorate the streets of downtown Hart with your artistic Fall creation for the Scarecrow Contest. The peoples choice and judges choice winners will earn $25, long with 2 lucky voters winning $25 to spend at their favorite downtown business. Please submit your registration, located below, to Hart Main Street by October 5, and plan to have your scarecrow on display the morning of October 13 by 9am. The scarecrows will be on display through November 1.

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Hart Main Street

49 South State Street
P.O. Box 449
Hart, Michigan 49420
Phone (231) 301-8449

Monday-Friday, 9:00a to 5:00p

Design Charrette Outcome

On June 14 Hart Main Street held a Design Charrette in the city owned space between Dale & Gail’s Art and Music Gallery and the Lakeside Rehab and Family Fitness buildings in downtown Hart. The City of Hart purchased the property at 33 South State Street in 2016, and space has been used as a pass through from parking to the access to State Street store fronts. Downtowns refer to these properties as “Pocket Parks”, and in downtown Hart, to make better use of the space, Hart Main Street held a Design Charrette, a planning session to gather the ideas of the community for the design of the Pocket Park. “Having the event right in the space really gave people the feeling for the ways the space could be used and enjoyed,” said Main Street Director Julie Kreilick.

In downtown planning across the country, finding meaningful use for available space is encouraged to provide more for people to do in downtown. When there are more people and more activity in downtown, the business growth will follow. In downtown Hart, the opportunity to create a more active area with the Pocket Park space was an appropriate project for Hart Main Street to take on. With the investment of the City of Hart, the guidance of Michigan Main Street and Main Street America, resources and grants are available to help with the planning and funding of the park project. The community’s input is an important part of the planning, and Hart Main Street was happy to be able to host the event.

At the Charrette were examples of fitness with a Yoga class offered by Cindy Beth Davis-Dykema and Lakeside Rehab and Family Fitness, and entertainment provided by Dale Zieger playing keyboard. Children had the opportunity to experience cedar wood playground equipment that was obtained through a grant from Healthy Families of Oceana County to encourage more activity, and a free little library box donated by the Pentwater Artesian Center featured story time and puppet play provided by Barbara Sims, owner of Storybook Village in Pentwater, and director of the United Way of the Lakeshore. To provide green space, a sensory garden experience was facilitated by West Shore Community College AgriScience Instructor Jorhie Beadle, and Charrette project manager Leslie Hansen provided some water play to explore the idea of a water feature in the space. There were tables and chairs located throughout the space along with signs encouraging guests to use the space for food and drinks carried out from any of our local eateries.

The people in attendance were asked to share their thoughts on what they would enjoy and how they would like to see the space used. Input was gathered on poster boards from the over one hundred - twenty people in attendance. The information has been compiled and Hart Main Street looks forward to utilizing the great ideas and input the community shared. Those in attendance were comprised of a range of ages, with families being the predominate presence. The consensus was that the space provided a warm and welcoming feeling, good energy, and has the potential to be used in such a variety of ways that the plans for it should include flexible features. “It was exciting to see the level of enthusiasm there was from the community to create a space that provides more to offer in downtown”, said Kreilick. “This great community deserves more wonderful spaces to build the sense of community, and to bring more vibrancy to downtown Hart. The idea of enhancing this space is to give the community another reason to come downtown, spend time, visit with friends, and stay a while.”

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Announcing: Street Light Banner Project

Hart Main Street has launched a Downtown Hart Street Light Banner project to dress up the streets of downtown with our art and our history.

Working in partnership with the Hart Public Schools, the Hart Historic District, and the Oceana County Historical and Genealogical Society, over 40 banners will be hung throughout downtown displaying our history, and the student’s art depicting “Hart at Play”, the theme chosen by the Design Committee for their art work.

The Design Committee is also in the planning stage for the next mural to be commissioned for downtown Hart, considering the theme “Oceana at Play”; to continue the mural series following the first mural currently located on the north side of the La Fiesta Restaurant, with the original work located in the City Hall Council chamber, titled “Oceana at Work”.

The banners have been generously sponsored by many of the area businesses and organizations as part of the sponsorship package for the Hart Main Street annual campaign, with sponsors labeled on each banner. A visit downtown this summer will be an enjoyable walking tour of art and history!

Note: the banner pictured appears horizontally in this format, but will be vertical on the street light posts.

Labor Day 5K Races

The rain and storms held off Labor Day morning and nearly one hundred walkers, runners, and hand cyclists gathered in downtown Hart for the Annual Rich Tompkins Memorial Race. The race was originally organized by the influence of the Labor Day bridge walk, with locals creating a bridge walk around Hart. Hart Main Street organized the first Hart Healthy 5K race in 2012, and the race was renamed in 2015 to memorialize race organizer Rich Tompkins.

Under grey skies, race starter Harvey Weaver shot off his pistol and the 1 mile youth race took off at 8am with 5 participants. The hand cycling division rolled off at 8:25 with 8 participants, followed by the 5K runners and walkers. The course took racers from Hart Commons West to 72nd Ave., then South to the Hart Public School Campus. After racing through the school, the course headed South down Water St. to the bike trail, exiting at Enterprise Dr. then back to South State St. heading North to finish back at Hart Commons.

Cash prizes were awarded to the hand cycle winners and were sponsored by Fusion Medical of Essexville Michigan, with the top three places going to Matthew Chaffee of Grand Rapids with the time 9:22.2, Steve Chapman of Traverse City, 9:23.4, and Nicholas Nieboer of Kalamazoo, 9:28.0.

Top 5k runners were Hunter Tubbs of Hart for the male division with the time 17:15.6, and top female winner Sarah Pioli of Shelby came in at 23:25.6. The top three finishers in each age group were awarded medals.

Race organizers announced the race will be moved to Memorial Day next year, May 27, 2019. Many thanks goes to all the race organizers, volunteers, the Ham Radio Club, Hart DPW, the many sponsors who helped make the race possible, and the participants!

Photo credits go to Jolene Vos-Camy and John Huizing