Summer Kick Off gets season going with a bang

Published 6:33 pm Saturday, May 16, 2015

Summer is almost here! Make plans to join in on the Summer Kick Off on Friday, May 29 in downtown Austin.

The Summer Kick Off is one of the events sponsored by the Vision 2020 Destination Downtown committee to drive traffic to the district and give businesses, residents and shoppers a place to build relationships and celebrate community together.

The goals of the committee include no vacancies in downtown buildings, developing market rate housing and increased revenues for downtown merchants. We are working to ensure that the historic downtown district, the geographic center of Austin, remains a strong part of the community’s retail base. Increasingly, the downtown shopping experience has evolved to feature unique retailers while national chain businesses dominate other retail areas such as 18th Avenue Northwest and the Sterling Shopping area. Austin needs all our retail areas to thrive and Vision 2020’s Business Friendly Environment committee is working to support retail outside of downtown.

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This year, the Kick Off is sponsored by the Hormel Historic Home and will start at 5:30 p.m. with a performance by the talented students from Austin High School jazz program. First Packer Jazz will play, then Jazz One. That will be followed by a short Vision 2020 program then Big Ben and Brians and Ventura Highway will take the stage which will be located by Steve’s Pizza on the corner of Main and 4th Avenue.

Adults can enjoy the Austin Jaycee’s Beer Garden or patronize your favorite downtown bars and restaurants. Watch for Kick Off specials and carry out menu items from downtown businesses.

Kids activities will be located in the 300 block of Main Street. Come down to explore activities offered by the Yoga Studio of Austin, YMCA of Austin, Everything Hobby, Hy-Vee of Austin, Hormel Foods, Bridget’s Dance Conservatory, Life Safety 4U and the Austin High School Robotics Team. Thank you to Piggy Blues, Bremer Bank and Sassy Strawberry for donating items for the kids activities.

The Summer Kick Off is free and all ages are welcome. Please help us spread the word so that we can enjoy a great celebration together.

 Having a blast

Reminder, Bike Safety Bash is today, Sunday, May 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Lions Park. With partners SHIP Mower County, YMCA of Austin, Austin Police Department, Gold Cross Ambulance, Rydjor Bike Shop, Mayo Clinic Health System Albert Lea Austin, Southern Minnesota Bike Club and Mower Refreshed, we offer this FREE activity fair. Come to learn about bike safety and healthy living. You will also have the opportunity to be custom fitted for a high-quality bike helmet for a $5 co-pay for kids or $10 co-pay for adults.