Ten years ago, Old Town Cottonwood looked very different.
Still recovering from the meth epidemic that ravaged the nation, Old Town was still in the early stages of becoming revitalized.
4 things you won’t want to miss at Walkin’ on Main
Galleries and exhibits will be set up all over Old Town and The Mingus Union Art Club will create live art on the streets and sidewalks.
Live music by Keith Okie and Rebel Sol, The VanReed Brothers, and Big Nick and the Gila Monsters music starts at Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Verde Valley Wine Consortium will have a wine tasting garden with samples of local Arizona wines. Wine tasting is $15 and comes with six tasting tickets as well as a commemorative wine glass.
The Mingus Union High School Auto Club will put on a classic car show Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cottonwood City Manager Doug Bartosh, who first arrived to Cottonwood in 2005 described the area as “a diamond in the rough.”
Former Cottonwood city council member and Yavapai College professor Terence Pratt affectionately calls it the “renaissance of Old Town.”
Walkin’ on Main, now in its 10th year, celebrates that renaissance.
Pratt said when the wine industry came to the Verde Valley, businesses took a risk and started to invest in some of the empty buildings along Main Street.
“Quality establishments brought people to town. Bit by bit, people saw there is a lot of potential and became what it is today,” he said.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, local vendors, artists and patrons will crowd the streets of Old Town for the annual event. Live music by Keith Okie and Rebel Sol, The VanReed Brothers, and Big Nick and the Gila Monsters starts at 11 a.m.
The event also puts on a wine tasting garden courtesy of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium and a classic car show put together by the Mingus Union High School Auto Club from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pratt said another key goal of Walkin’ on Main is supporting the local art scene. Galleries and exhibits will be set up all over Old Town and The Mingus Union Art Club will create live art on the streets and sidewalks.
Walkin’ On Main is free and family-friendly. Edward Jones, among many, is one of the key sponsors of the event. Local First Arizona is also partnering with Walkin’ on Main for the first time.
“Walkin’ On Main aligns well with the mission of Local First Arizona in bringing attention to the businesses in the historic corridor and the Main Street district while also celebrating community assets,” said Ruth Ellen Elinski, Northern Arizona Director for Local First Arizona. “This all contributes to building a connection to place and encouraging people to explore the products and services available in their community. We are proud to have a role in bringing this exciting event to reality, a model which can be recreated in other communities across Arizona.”
Pratt, one of the founding fathers of the event said Walkin’ on Main is about “community spirit.”
“People get to see how Old Town has changed over the years,” he said Once you people to see Old Town you start bringing people back.”
It’s important, he said, because it gives members of the community the chance to emphasize shopping local.
“These are our friends and neighbors,” he said.