Five more parklets will open for al fresco dining in downtown Bowling Green this spring.
The new parklets will be installed in front of SamB’s, Flatlands Coffee, Finders Records, Grounds for Thought coffee roastery and Cycle Werks in May, according to Tony Vetter, executive director of the Downtown Bowling Green Special Improvement District.
Vetter spoke about the parklets and new “artlets” at Thursday’s Bowling Green Rotary Club meeting, held at the Bowling Green Country Club.
The five new ones join the three installed last year at Juniper, Grounds for Thought (cafe and bookstore) and Kabob-It.
The new ones will have some changes in their appearance, Vetter said. They will be more visible as solar powered LED lighting as well as colored patches are added to the parklets.
The new parklets will be funded by a $50,000 hometown grant from T-Mobile that was announced in September.
The outdoor dining areas extend the seating into the parallel parking areas in front of the downtown shops.
The latest concept is an artlet being built by students at Bowling Green State University. There will be a well, Vetter said.
He also unveiled a new banner that will be hung along Main Street. They are full color and made from heavy duty commercial grade double sided banners. They also had to make special brackets for the lampposts that could hold the wreaths and banners.
The Downtown Bowling Green Special Improvement District decided that the downtown decorations needed an upgrade and aimed to raise $88,000 in donations for the project. In the first two months of the project, $45,000 has already been raised from private sources.
“There will be wreaths, there will be banners like the ones I showed today and there will also be something called a spray. Because some of the light poles have two lights and it’s really difficult to get a ring around two lights. A spray is like a wreath, but it’s a triangle that goes in between with a big bow,” Vetter said.
The Alleyway project announced by Mayor Mike Aspacher is moving forward, he said.
“These are some of the most boring places we have downtown. You just walk through it,” said Vetter. “We’re going to take this whole alley of finders and make them a target.”
The city will fund the project with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, he said.
The alleys will contain pergolas with an artistic flair.
Locations are located near: Finders Records, Lola’s Frozen Yogurt, Reverend’s Bar and Grill, and Easy Street Cafe.
Vetter spoke about the district’s efforts to make downtown the city’s cultural, historical, and commercial hub.
Art Walk is scheduled for May 14th.
Vetter said the projects that started three years ago before the pandemic involving the plastic flamingos would be raffled off.
He added that cards for the art would be available at the Wood County District Public Library along with the flamingo preview.
Live music events downtown, which were intended to encourage people to get outside, will be halted.
“We found out a lot. We found that doing it every Friday and Saturday probably wasn’t the best way to spend our money. We believe we get the best attendance by paying for bigger bands. These will have a larger fan base,” said Vetter.
The Firefly Nights will be back. Vetter said the popular events will take place on June 17, July 15 and August 19, the third Friday of the month, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m
“It’s family-oriented, so bring your kids,” Vetter said.