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OCBA, others discuss events for 2008

A Monday night meeting at the Moose Lodge in Corydon brought together several community entities to meet, greet and discuss their plans for the remainder of 2008.
Chris Mattingly of the Old Capitol Business Association opened the meeting with a little about his organization. The group, a collaboration of small business members in historic downtown Corydon, has 19 official members and meets the last Monday of each month.
Mattingly said the group’s immediate plans include finalizing a Web site geared toward the collaborative marketing of OCBA members, as well as embarking on an advertising campaign to ‘Shop Corydon First.’
Jenny Rog, co-owner of Magdalena’s and an OCBA member, said there are lots of destinations competing for guest dollars and resident dollars.
‘We’re trying to make historic downtown Corydon a destination,’ she said.
Other projects for this year include a continued campaign with Corydon Cinemas and possibly purchasing another billboard near the Interstate 64 exit at Lanesville.
Pam Bennett Martin, of Bennett and Bennett Insurance, spoke to the crowd of the next big event for the Bicentennial Committee, the official honorary event on June 7. The day will include re-enactors mingling in the crowd and telling of how life was 200 years ago. Those re-enactors will include one portraying Elizabeth Pennington, wife of Dennis, who was supposedly one of the founding fathers of Corydon.
The day will be capped off with the unveiling of the O’Bannon Memorial on the town square. Other events will be music by the Fort Knox Band, Culver’s of Corydon will serve ice cream, the Masonic Lodge will display historical property replicas and a potted plant competition will be held.
‘That day we’re going to have a lot of folks in Corydon,’ Martin said.
She also touched on the Independence Day festivities, including a traditional parade to be held July 4 and fireworks by the Zambelli family, the same one who puts on the annual Thunder Over Louisville event.
‘There will be lots of opportunities for you all to hopefully experience some success in your businesses,’ she said.
Jim Epperson, executive director of the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, spoke on behalf of the HCCVB, as well as Main Street Corydon Inc.
Main Street Inc. will continue its ongoing Bluegrass on the Square series on the fourth Saturday in June, July and August, he said.
Epperson also gave an update on the old Keller Manufacturing Co. property, which is in its next ‘ and hopefully last, he said ‘ phase of soil testing. After the property is declared to need no further action, Main Street will invite developers and contractors, as well as community members, in to see what they suggest.
Within about eight weeks, the anticipated informational sign should be in place and running near the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Corydon, Epperson said.
That sign, funded by the Harrison County Community Foundation and the HCCVB, will be used for the purpose of promoting downtown events as well as ones throughout Harrison County.
‘We’ll use that to get people’s attention,’ said Epperson.
Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County chairman Bill Taylor said one of the goals for 2008 is to try to establish high-speed Internet access within the county.
‘We’ve learned a lot of buzzwords ‘ bits and bytes,’ he said. The original goal of 90-percent coverage is still in place, although Taylor admitted it may not get there right away.
‘We want to make it as affordable as possible’ to connect, he said.
Taylor, along with Sarah Turpin, also spoke of the Chamber’s goals of promoting the revolving loan program, educational workshops, and the purchase and use of CertifiChecks.
Turpin also spoke of the upcoming Cockadoodle Days festival in September, which has previously been developed under the umbrella of Leadership Harrison County. The festival, now in its fifth year, in conjunction with Lucas Oil and Team Lucas, will bring in a pro-pulling league this year as entertainment.
‘That means 70 to 80 tractors, trucks,’ Turpin said.
Lucas Oil estimates pulling in between 5,000 and 10,000 guests each day of the two-day festival.
‘For such a young festival to have (this), it’s real exciting news,’ Turpin said.
Nathan Blank also noted that Southern Indiana Uncorked, a wine and microbrew festival, is scheduled for Saturday, May 24, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon. There will be a $10 admission fee, which includes a souvenir tasting glass.
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