A1 locals wednesday, stephanie adams.JPG

LWD supporter Stephanie Adams, at a recent DBAC meeting, said organizers are looking for expanded participation from businesses and the public.

Art on Oak will be the featured business on Wednesday, Jan. 15 in the next Locals Wednesday Downtown promotion from 3-6 p.m., created by Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Downtown Business Advisory Committee (DBAC) and the downtown business owners in partnership with the City of Hood River.
During LWD, downtown parking is free from 3-6 p.m. — as is the case all Wednesdays through May.
More LWD events Jan. 15 include a “locals pop-up market” at Flow Yoga, with HR Organics, Lucky Locks Hair Sparkle, Ayurvedic Skin Consultation, Mini-Intuitive Readings, and Face Paint and Jewels by Stephanie Delgado.
“We’re involving a number of Heights and Odell businesses in the market, so we can bring other areas into the event,” said Flow Yoga owner Stephanie Adams. “We are really striving to make Locals Wednesday Downtown something of interest to everyone.”
On Jan. 22, Knot Another Hat will host “Knit Night,” with door prizes and a surprise sale.
LWD posters are being placed around the county, in English and Spanish, as DBAC members work to get the word out about LWD. DBAC are getting the word out via social media and also talking about LWD with downtown businesses and encouraging more participation.
Art on Oak will have scavenger hunt forms available over the weekend, listing some of the downtown businesses as well as items available. Participants will fill match the items with the businesses and return the forms to Art on Oak for a chance to win two lift tickets donated by Mt. Hood Meadows, as well as 10 percent off coupons at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort for dining and/or lodging.
Those who take selfies at one of the listed businesses on the scavenger hunt with the item found and post to Instagram with the #hoodriverdown tag will receive an additional entry into the prize drawing. You do not need to be present to win.
The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Downtown Business Advisory Committee (DBAC) and the downtown business owners have created a program in partnership with the City of Hood River to invite locals to shop, dine and enjoy downtown with free parking every Wednesday beginning at 3-6 p.m.
The Locals Wednesday Downtown (LWD) pilot project got its formal approval from the City of Hood River last month, and DBAC immediately began planning the first LWD, on Jan. 1.
Downtown owners, DBAC, The Hood River Chamber of Commerce, and City Council listened to the community and business partners and learned that the biggest barrier to locals being downtown is the perceived hassle and expense to park, according to Chamber executive director Kate Schroeder.
Offering a midweek afternoon where locals can come downtown without fishing for quarters or figuring out the parking machine (or shopping longer than expected and getting a ticket) appealed to the community, she said. 
“We know we needed to give something to locals that feels tangible and is about them. Many locals want to support Hood River businesses and contribute to our economic vitality by shopping local,” said Schroeder.
“We want to recognize and invite community participation in our downtown. In short, we want Locals Wednesday Downtown (LWD) to be about supporting the people who live, work and contribute to our community every day.”
Posters and window clings in downtown businesses are intended to remind locals to think about and plan for Locals Wednesday Downtown (LWD) free parking.
More events are being added all the time, organized by a DBAC subcommittee in conjunction with local businesses and community groups, said a press release.
Surveys will be conducted throughout the program to measure response and impacts.
If successful, the City will consider implementing the program permanently, said a press release.
Currently, the plan is to run it through May and start again in September.

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