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November 20, 2020 · OPINION

Old Town organization appreciates support

By Tray Allen

Since its inception, Experience Old Town Warrenton has remained dedicated to its mission of enhancing economic vitality while preserving the historic character of the community. We also strive to promote a rich and appealing atmosphere in which to live, play, and do business. In the past two years, we have made fantastic progress in each of these areas.

In 2019, our 1st Friday events from May through October attracted thousands of guests to Main Street, where they enjoyed live music, a beer garden, and vendors, and then stayed to patronize shops and restaurants. From April through November, the weekly farmer’s market featured hundreds of people picking up farm-fresh and homemade products from dozens of local vendors. Gum Drop Square, our longtime and beloved Christmas tradition, brought in visitors of all ages during the holiday season.

New events, including the “Leap Year .5K,” a Cookie Crawl, a “Find Your Heart in Old Town Warrenton” scavenger hunt, a Nutcracker Tea and others — all of which increased the number of visitors to town — are sure to become annual traditions. Things were rolling! Our events were hugely popular, fundraising efforts were gaining traction and we had other ideas and plans that were keeping us on the path to fulfilling our mission.

The pandemic hit suddenly, and we are all too familiar with the results. Many businesses shut down completely. Others remained open but had to severely curtail their services. Stay-at-home orders eliminated the possibility of large gatherings. Experience Old Town Warrenton quickly and effectively shifted from creating and reveling in town opportunities to finding ways to keep its businesses alive.

Luckily, neither our dedication nor creativity waned. We banded together to support businesses offering curbside pickup. We applied for and received community and state grants, launched our own microgrant program, and distributed funds to businesses in need. When the state began to reopen, we created a host of “parklets” on Main Street and side streets to allow for outdoor dining experiences.

Now, we need your help. We are a non-profit organization and, while we are fortunate to have the great support of the Town of Warrenton, The PATH Foundation, the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation and others, we rely greatly on our events to support our less visible but equally important activities behind the scenes. With the future of these events uncertain, we need your support now more than ever.

We long for the days when we can all come together again and celebrate in our fabulous streets! When that day comes, with your help, EOTW will be here and stronger than ever to bring our events back to life. Together we will #KeepOldTownCharming for years to come.

You can support our work by donating online at or by sending a check to Experience Old Town Warrenton, 26 S. Third St., Warrenton, Va. 20186.

Thank you in advance for helping us to help our community.

The writer serves as the volunteer chairman of Experience Old Town Warrenton, the local Main Street program to promote economic vitality.
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George spencer · December 27, 2020 at 8:00 am
That's a great contribution and great initiatives. We should also support them in performing their job done. I am a senior advisor as a hp support assistant and help the people with different IT related helps. I hope, during corona era, we should also work together.
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