The first-ever Marana Main Street Festival is coming to the Town on April 5-7. Spearheaded by town staff and local business owner Teri Murphy, the event is designed to familiarize residents with an area of Marana that was once considered downtown before the introduction of Interstate 10 in the 1960s cut through the area’s development plans.
“At some point, this area will be our downtown again, so we’re looking to get people out here and involved,” said Marana Public Information Officer Rodney Campbell.
The area Campbell is referring to is that along the corridors of Civic Center Drive and Marana Main Street, which house the Marana Municipal Complex, police station, fire station, and Marana Health Center.
“We want to get people familiarized with our revitalized downtown, and that’s part of the reason buildings like the municipal complex and health center are here,” said Campbell. “They have acted as the first two entities to plant the flag in the ground in this area.”
The recession has played a big part in slowing the redevelopment plans of Marana’s government and businesses.
“With the recession’s impacts finally slowing, developers who have been waiting on the sidelines are starting to revisit their plans in North Marana,” said Marana Mayor Ed Honea. “They see the great potential that exists here and want to place their footprint. This is an exciting time to be part of the community.”
Town staff sought out Murphy to organize the event. Murphy is the owner of Freedom RV, and is also affiliated with the Marana Mortuary.
“I love community events, and I’m really actively involved,” said Murphy, who regularly takes part in such events as the Marana rodeo and pumpkin patch.
Putting the event together, collecting volunteers, sponsors, and partners has had its challenges along the way, given the immaturity of the event.
“She has been given the tough job of putting together something that has never existed before,” said Campbell. “When there is no track record, it’s not as easy to sell the concept, to say look at what the Town is all about.”
But Murphy seems to have pulled it off. The event is scheduled to have a variety of events, such as kids activities, entertainment, food, vendors, and bed races. An RV boondocking event is scheduled for the entire weekend to accompany a multi-artist concert on Saturday night and pancake breakfast on Sunday morning.
“Everybody has different interests and wants,” said Murphy. “We wanted to make sure people from the outlying areas would come to this regional event with so many diverse items and activities.”
The Marana Chamber of Commerce, Marana Heritage Conservancy, MHC Healthcare, Northwest Fire District and Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance are partnering for the event.
For more information on the Marana Main Street Festival, visit Marana’s website at www.marana.com.