Community Stakeholders Could Make The Howard Street Exchange Fly

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Howard Street Exchange COLOR (Web)


Around this time of the year is when the planning for the Howard Street Exchange usually begins, but honestly, I haven’t been feeling it, I’ve been thinking “Naw, I got work the garden and other projects going on, there’s a reason Boone ain’t got a street fair, that’s a stressful job, man, running that thing, you gotta focus.”

“Plus you might just get rained out again, naw, don’t do it man.”

This is all very true, it has been turbulent in getting to this point, where I basically understand everything that needs to make the street fair work. It does take up a lot of time that I end up wishing I could spend frolicking among my plants, or at least not being stressed.

Come frolic with us Ben!
Come frolic with us Ben!

And the rain thing is a big factor, that makes me think doing a one day outdoor event in Boone is a inherently a risky venture at best. I’ve been thinking maybe the spirit of the thing would be better suited as a week long event, on a smaller piece of (probably private) property, but that would take setting up a whole different structure, but which might work much better in the long-run… another big idea worth talking about. That’s what I want to do right now about it, talk a little.

What is the best way to hold a transformationally awesome art,music, local business street fair?

It’s hard to know with just one brain, which is how I really feel about it- not that the Howard Street Exchange shouldn’t happen, that it’s beyond my capacity to set up solo.

With the Plein Air Paint Off and the Best Booth contest we did last year, we started to explore how to make the landscape of the event as vibrant as possible. The biggest suggestion we received from all of the vendors and participants was a call for more excitement, more activity and things to make the street come alive. I hope by opening up the street fair planning moreso than we have before like this, we can fill the streets with the ideas you, as a citizen, want your town to have, and find the format that really works, weather and all else considered.

I hate nothing more than seeing a project just fade away for people to ask “What happened to that?”, so I want to put forward everything that has gone into the street fair on the table.


The Howard Street Exchange deserves a whole team, a whole town behind it. Behind the idea of creating spaces where representatives from all facets of life around here can make a living doing the thing they love. There is no shortage of entrepreneurs in Boone, and an abundance of empty space in downtown. The elements are present. All it will take is a few more movers and shakers sharing the delightful endeavor of giving Boone a street fair.

I’d like to call a meeting for anyone interested in being a leader of the Howard Street Exchange. If you’d like to come, please fill out the doodle poll here:

This is me trying to provide some continuity, to not let the HSE be just another project. You aren’t volunteering to take the whole thing on. What I’m getting at is that if we can gather a strong team of contributors, we can spread the work out and no one will have to shoulder the whole burden, and the street fair can continue to get better.

We’re gonna need a bigger poster. (circa 2014)

        The HSE last August had 60 registered vendors, 15 plein air-paint off submissions, 6 bands (recorded live) and over 500 guests, generating $3360 in new revenue. We also have a ready-to-go list of vendors and all of the collected knowledge of applying to the town and working with the street. The seven events we’ve held have shown the idea has potential, and if more businesses, organizations, and individuals take a leading role it can flourish further yet. Even if you can’t find time to meet please email me, I really think this street fair could be a very interesting venture for any number of excellent people I know in town. Here’s the doodle poll link again. Thank you, I’ll talk to you soon!


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