Chili Chili Chili

My goal this year was to visit all of the contestants participating in the Annandale Area Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-Off held on the Saturday prior to Memorial Day.

I took my youngest daughter, Madelyn, out for the first shift and we tried 8 chilies. She got full, so I brought her home and took out my oldest daughter, Abigail for round 2.

Sad to say, we failed to try all of the entries. But we had a blast visiting all of the businesses and tasting all of the amazing recipes.

Great job to all of the participants and the Chamber for another successful event that promotes our wonderful city.


Downtown Renovation Open House

It was a good turn out at the Downtown Renovation Open House last night. It appears there was a consensus on what the businesses and the public would like to see for the downtown. This includes interest in possibly removing the canopy system and incorporating a decorative awning system, trees and shrubs, street furniture, decorative pavement, additional signage opportunities, and other amenities. These are all great ideas. I believe the steering committee has a clear direction to work towards.

Based off of the discussions, some businesses want a grand theme and complete overhaul and some businesses want nothing to be done and to be left alone. I believe the correct solution is somewhere in the middle.

Whatever the final solution is, the final goal is clear. We need to work towards keeping our downtown iconic in look and feel while creating an amazing and pleasant environment for the businesses to grow and thrive.

So, that’s what we are going to do. Wish us luck!

You’re on the Right Track, Annandale

During our downtown discussions over the past few years, many residents and business owners expressed to us that Annandale needs to become the next Nisswa. Therefore, on May 11th, the Annandale Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a tour of Annandale and round table discussion which included the chamber presidents from Nisswa, Detroit Lakes, and Fergus Falls.

For almost 3-hours, we discussed the importance of an active chamber and how to sustain great events. Since all three communities have gone through major downtown reconstruction, we discussed strategies, designs, and lessons learned by them during such a sensitive project. We discussed how to market your community and why it is so important to have an active and engaged chamber. Finally, we discussed what Annandale can do to improve our community and our local business climate.

Even though they provided some great information, our guests from those communities all agree that we are on the right track to achieving our goals. Great job to the Chamber, the businesses, service organizations, schools, and residents for making Annandale more amazing each and every day.



Time to Make Memories

Hey Annandale,

You know those really cool old pictures of downtown Annandale that are hanging up in various places? Well, this is the time for you to take those pictures now for future walls to adorn.

After 2 years of dreaming, discussing, meeting, and planning, we are now starting the process of working out the details of a new downtown plan. I’m really liking the direction we’re going with this and by the sounds of it, so are you.

However, there are going to be numerous implementation and construction challenges to overcome and our downtown businesses are going to be on the front lines. We’re going to do our best to make it business as usual, but our downtown is going to need our support more than ever.

Therefore, it’s important you take some extra time to rediscover and support our downtown while we embark on a transformation from something tired to being “the place to be”.

I ask that you kindly shop our downtown stores, buy a cold drink, have a bite to eat, get a haircut, check out a book, sign up for something, or just come down to meet some really cool people and chit-chat with fellow citizens.

Make some downtown memories today, so a few years from now while you’re enjoying an amazing new downtown experience, you can remember how things used to be.

Shop Local.

All City Get Out and Buy Stuff

What a great first weekend of May. The traditional all-city garage sale, sponsored by the Annandale Area Chamber of Commerce, occurred and it proved to be a tremendous value for our city. It not only draws hundreds of people to our community to spend money, but creates an environment for families and friends to spend time together. It’s on opportunity for one person’s junk to become another’s treasure. Garage sales are a pure American past time and no one does it better than Annandale. Great job!