BY SARAH R. GREGORY
Activity is increasing, and more plans are in the works to revitalize downtown Greeneville, members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen were told during a retreat Monday.
Board members heard updates concerning the Town's Vision 20/20 project -- an official effort that seeks to help Greeneville "realize its full potential by the year 2020."
To do so, five groups were formed to set actionable goals, including a Revitalize Downtown Action Group.
That group is facilitated by Andrea "Andy" Daniels, a downtown property-owner and the wife of Mayor W.T. Daniels.
The initial meetings of that group, she said, have attracted as many as 100 citizens or more.
"We've had lots of community support, and they've had so many ideas -- many, many ideas," she said.
"Mainly it's about getting downtown going -- getting some activities downtown," she continued, adding, "and we have done that."
Daniels pointed to the Murals on Main Unveiling Festival and Antique Fair, held in June.
Planning for a similar event with area antique dealers and vendors has already begun, Daniels said.
She added that she hopes to see more murals painted in the downtown area in the future.
"I think it's a tourist attraction -- to promote the history of the downtown area," she said.
Daniels pointed specifically to an idea for a mural commemorating famed pioneer Davy Crockett.
The mural would not only be significant because Crockett was born in nearby Limestone, but also because a famous movie about the pioneer-turned-legislator premiered in town.
"The Walt Disney 'Davy Crockett' movie premiered in Greeneville," Daniels said, adding that many people likely do not realize that.
There was also a premiere in San Antonio, Texas, site of The Alamo, where Crockett died.
Actor Fess Parker, who portrayed Crockett in the film, came to Greeneville for the premiere here as well as to the one in Texas.
Though plans are not finalized for the project, Daniels said she hopes a mural of Crockett can be placed somewhere near the Capitol Theater.
NEW ACTIVITIES, EVENTS
Other successful activities Daniels reported included the "American Downtown" Fourth of July celebration, which saw a parade, fireworks, and relighting of an electric flag atop the former First National Bank building -- all held in the downtown area for the first time in a number of years.
Another downtown project just getting started, Daniels said, is the Music Off Main (MOM) organization, which plans to conduct monthly concerts and other events in the downtown area.
Daniels also mentioned Main Street: Greeneville's currently-underway "Scarecrows of Main" contest.
The competition, now in its fourth year, has 22 entries this year, resulting in fall-themed decor to greet downtown visitors for the next several weeks.
Daniels indicated to the board that, while there are still many plans to be made -- including needs for capital projects for residences and retail opportunities -- the downtown area is becoming more lively.
"I go through downtown every night around 5:30 or 6 p.m., and it's amazing how many people are out walking," she said.
"I do think there's a lot more activity in town."