I have another small town to share with you today on the Weekly Special. I am so thrilled to be a part of this Emmy award-winning program. My Little Indiana segment on Fortville, Indiana is just long enough to give you a little tease as to what this adorable destination holds. You know I have plenty of far more detailed posts in the hopper, waiting to be released. If you enjoy this segment, won’t you please let the fine folks at PBS know?
Why Fortville, Indiana?
This is a magical small town. There are towns out there that are contributing to their own decay. They rip buildings down to put in parking lots, they yank out trees to make room for (you guessed it) more parking, and the businesses in the town don’t try to work together. They don’t try to appeal to families. They are more of a “this is the way things have always been done, why do anything else?” Fortville is why it pays to mix things up. This is why small business owners need to stop thinking about themselves in terms of competition, but in terms of destination!
The difference isn’t necessarily something you will instantly notice. After traveling through more towns than the typical person, I figured it out right away. There’s bustling. There’s walking. There’s strolling. There’s talking. Even rhyming, apparently.
Fortville is a pleasantly walkable town. Store fronts are well-done, the buildings look great, and businesses are abundant. It’s welcoming. You can feel it right as you step out of your car, if not before. There are places to eat, places to drink coffee, places for bargains, places for home decor, places for women’s high quality clothing, and places for vintage or up-cycled items too. “It is a wonderful place to call home,” so say the many Fortville folks to which I have spoken. You can feel more of that magic during the holiday season.
Lights on Main: Fortville Winter Festival
Rolling out the red carpet, the Lights on Main: Fortville Winter Festival is the epitome of small town. Main Street businesses band together, developing ways to lend a bit of holiday cheer, without stepping on each other’s toes. At 10 AM through 8 PM on December 5, the fun begins. many folks consider it an annual tradition to have breakfast with Santa at the Fortville Community Center between 8 AM – 10:30 AM. For a minimal fee ($5 for adults, $3 for kids aged 5 – 12, and free for those 4 and under), bring along canned food for the big food drive. Santa will make an appearance at 8:30 AM and again at 10:30.
The Gypsy Chicks Boutique offer story time so mom and dad can do a bit of shopping. Java Junction has an indoor bounce house and a hot chocolate bar (they make a great hot chocolate). Indulge is offering Santa and Cinderella photography. Fox Garden will have a hot toddy bar, Simply More Home Furnishings provides materials to write letters to Santa, and Best of What’s Around paints reindeer. There’s more than a dozen shops participating who are also competing for the best dressed window.
Main Street will be aglow in lights! Kids will love the chance to see and pet real reindeer. At 12:30 PM, Santa and even Cinderella will make their way down the street. How magical is that? Just wait for 5:30 PM when the luminaries are lit. Main Street retailers will gladly take your clean milk jugs to use for the sparkling event. One hour later, it’s time for the tree ceremony. I’m pretty sure there will be singing in there somewhere, too. You never know what will happen. But you do know it will be fabulous, magical, memorable, that inspires a new holiday tradition for you and yours.
Follow Lights on Main on Facebook, the Town of Fortville website, or, for a more personal perspective, take a look at Fortville Mama, a blog that documents the latest doings in this spectacular small town. I know you will love it!
Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.
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