Tuesday night showed the potential of downtown

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tuesday evening, Stephanie and I loaded up the kids and headed downtown for the annual fireworks show on the riverfront.

It marked the third year for us watching the show after moving to Vicksburg. And, for the first time, it was a show enjoyed without rain. Although, a few rain drops would have helped cut the temperature a bit.

Each time we have gone to the show — or with any event downtown — we have left impressed and felt blessed to live in a community with such a thriving downtown scene.

Yes, a few storefronts are vacant, waiting for the perfect owner, but the variety of stores, museums and eateries downtown Vicksburg offers provides an experience which exceeds that of many cities our size.

But, while plenty of things exist in which to remain proud, work still must be done. And, a few simple steps should be taken to improve the downtown experience.

Development of a trolley route that would bring visitors arriving by riverboat, up the hills to Washington Street storefronts and restaurants would be a good first step.

Community and civic clubs adopting streets throughout downtown to help remove any litter, debris and rubbish would be another.

The city of Vicksburg already does a wonderful job in beautification, but a little extra help could certainly be needed.

One area that continues to need development is the city’s waterfront and the welcoming experience along the river.

The expected announcement of a riverfront development committee by Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs is an exciting first step in bringing Vicksburg’s waterfront up to par with other cities along the Mississippi.

With this additional investment by civic and community groups and the city of Vicksburg, paired with the significant private investment on the part of business and property owners already downtown, the area could reach some amazing new heights.

That is where we — as residents of Vicksburg and Warren County — need to step in. Doing so by making downtown Vicksburg among our first stops when it comes to shopping and dining.

And, it is important too that we look to bring more to downtown in the way of events and entertainment.

Riverfest has long called downtown home and the Farmers’ Market has put down roots on Washington Street.

But what about other events, other festivals? What about Relay for Life? Parties and more?

If you have not visited downtown Vicksburg in a while, do so soon. You simply do not know what you are missing.

Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at tim.reeves@vicksburgpost.com.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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