Chamber Corner: Working on Walnut Update

Well, November is here and now we quickly transition from pumpkins to Christmas trees. 

 

Several area businesses have already put out their Christmas displays in preparation for the holiday season. This is a great time to shop Walnut. If you look around at our stores in town, you might be surprised how much you can actually purchase in Walnut without leaving town. 

 

On Thursday, we had a Working on Walnut Coordinating Council meeting. At these meetings we hear reports from all the committees of WOW and what they have been working on. In today’s Chamber Corner, I will give you a brief rundown of what each committee is up to.

 

Beautification - The big focus of the Beautification Committee recently was the official start of the 501(c)(3) Main Street Revitalization. The Main Street Revitalization Committee was born from WOW and it’s focus is to renovate empty Main Street Buildings one at a time. Their first project was the new Pass It Along store which opened on October 25th. This renovation happened quickly due to many volunteers and hired help. The committee has also created a GoFundMe page for those that would like to donate to the cause. Recent fundraisers include a bake sale and mattress sale during Walnut Garage Sale Weekend. 

 

Events - The events committee recently held the Chili Cook-Off on the Friday night before Fall Fest on Main. The committee was extremely happy with the turn-out as it surpassed expectations. The group now turns it’s focus to the Christmas Open House Weekend in Walnut. They would like to help the Chamber of Commerce in anyway possible with the planning. Proceeds from the Chili Cook-Off were donated to the Chamber for the purchase of Christmas Tree lights and other needs for that weekend. They are also heading a Business Scavenger Hunt planned for that day. 

 

Retail & Dining - Due to many activities already planned for October, the committee decided to move the Taste of Walnut to February. Each restaurant/dining option in Walnut will participate in this event. At their last meeting the group also was encouraged by the recent additions of retail in Walnut with Roots, The Embroidery Shop, Pass it Along, and Walnut Acres Country Store all opening within the past few months. Robin Jameson of Walnut Acres Country Store also gave the group a tour of the nearly renovated grocery store in Walnut. 

 

Sports & Recreation - Shorts and long term goals have been the focus of the Sports & Rec committee. Recently, short term goals completed was the Fall Fest on Main Family Run and Walk on Sunday, October 8th. Close to 60 people participated in the event and prizes were awarded for best costumes. Also, another Nerf War was held in conjunction with the Caleb Clausen pancake breakfast at Bureau Valley North. The Nerf War had close to 80 participants in the BVN gym. Many volunteers made the event successful again. All proceeds went to the Clausen family. The group is also in the beginning stages of planning a community sledding party and snowman contest for this winter. The long term goal of the Sports & Rec committee is the planning of a community bike/walk trail. The committee will be applying for a grant soon. 

 

As you can see WOW is still active and trying to improve Walnut in many ways. It’s never too late to jump in and join a committee as well. Contact me at director@walnutillinois.com if you have any interest in attending one of the committee meetings. Each committee has very motivated people trying to make positive changes to our community.

 

That’s it for today. Have a great week and shop Walnut whenever you can.

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