In a special event scheduled for Friday, Mar. 14, the Village of Palmetto Bay will provide residents with food, live music, prizes and a glimpse of what their “downtown” area may look like in the not too- distant future.
Called “A Downtown Experience,” the event will be hosted by the village and the Downtown Redevelopment Task Force from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the open area outside Palmetto Bay Municipal Center (Village Hall) at 9705 E. Hibiscus St.
Those who attend will get a taste, literally and figuratively, of what a downtown area with restaurants, cafes, shops and other pedestrian friendly attractions would be like. There will be a complimentary sampling of foods provided by restaurants and wine cafes that are interested in being a part of the village’s improved Franjo Triangle.
A highlight of the evening will be the display of a miniature downtown area model and architectural renderings to suggest how the redeveloped downtown could look. The event is described as an outreach opportunity to keep residents informed, get them involved and explore the possibilities.
Mary S. Fernandez, the village’s special events supervisor, said she was excited about the evening finally arriving after all the work they’ve put into it for more than a month.
“This is an initiative we’ve created hoping to have a fun, interactive what we are calling a ‘downtown experience,’” Fernandez said. “We want to invite our residents and our friends to come out and enjoy not only the informational aspect but also the food, dance music and maybe win a prize.
“We’ve invited more than a dozen local restaurants and caterers to come out and set up a sampling of their foods, places that are already in the area or that are interested in being in the area. It’s a Friday evening so we wanted to provide something of sustenance.”
Wine and spirits also will be part of the sampling. Fernandez added that she wants to encourage any other restaurateurs to contact her about participating because it is a great opportunity to interact with residents about the area’s future.
There will be giveaways, and residents who take the downtown redevelopment survey online automatically will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a top-of-the-line Weber grill unit provided by Evenings Delight. The drawing will be the evening of the event, and the person whose name is called must be present to win.
Ed Silva, director of Building and Capital Projects, explained that the event is the next step in an ongoing conversation with the community. The Downtown Redevelopment Task Force was formed last year and given council approval to take preliminary steps to look into the possibilities.
“We started by going to a bunch of organizations, like the Palmetto Bay Business Association, the PTA, and other groups. Whenever someone wanted to meet with us and share their ideas of what our downtown should be like, we’ve been there and we’ve done it,” Silva said.
“So we wanted to do this on a bigger scale. We want to really celebrate where we’re at and where we’re going, and we want everyone to interact with us,” he added. “This is the biggest outreach event the village has ever done. This is important. This is our future.”
The event is free and open to all, and there may be other similar events to come. For information call 305-259-1234 or visit www.palmetto-fl.gov.