Fulton Brick District Hopes to Revitalize Downtown

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FULTON - Crowds gathered in Fulton's downtown Brick District Wednesday to celebrate Westminster College's Homecoming with a parade and pep rally for the first time. Both events were previously held on the college's campus.

But Wednesday's event wasn't the first time the Brick District was crowded recently. Earlier this year, the Brick District began holding a farmers market each Saturday in hopes of revitalizing the city's downtown area. Business owners in the Brick District Association asked the college if it would be interested in holding the parade downtown this year in hopes of connecting with the community and local colleges.

"Our biggest focus is to let them know that our downtown is progressive, moving on, and we want to be more involved with the community as a whole," said Garry Vaught, Vice President of the Brick District Association.

Though the streets were closed to cars Wednesday, businesses benefited from the partnership. On Monday, students decorated sidewalks with colored chalk and made purchases from Brick District businesses in the process. Molly Dwyer, Westminster College Special Events Chair, said "We're hoping this will help and introduce downtown Fulton to Westminster students." She said many students visit areas in Fulton, but are not very familiar with the restaurants and stores located downtown.

"Things are happening in our downtown," said Vaught. He said new businesses will be joining the Brick District in the near future and business owners are determined to bring awareness to the downtown area. Vaught said his business, Beks, has seen sales go up and while the parade and pep rally was for the college, "It's kind of a pep rally for our own Brick District."