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Downtown Carlisle Association Helps a Historic Town Look to the Future

By Elisha Neubauer

A quaint town located in Pennsylvania, Carlisle has preserved its old world charm while changing and adapting right along with the times. Named for its sister village, Carlisle, United Kingdom, the historic town was founded in 1751 to be the main hub of Cumberland County, paving the way for such famed visitors as Benjamin Franklin, President George Washington, and John Forbes.

While the town's historic markers paint a colorful picture, like an interactive documentary or biography, it is the downtown center that seems to be generating the main focus from the community. Seeing this trend, even back in the '80s, the residents sprung to action in order to maintain this aspect of their cultural lifestyle and protecting the aspect of Carlisle that showed the most potential. Thus, Love Carlisle: the Downtown Carlisle Association was born.

"Starting in 1981, the Downtown Carlisle Association (DCA) is the Main Street Revitalization arm for the Borough of Carlisle," states Glenn White, responsible for DCA's Marketing. "We organize downtown development through the international four-point approach of promotion, design, economic revitalization, and organization."

So what exactly does the DCA do for the community?

According to White, the DCA operates the marketing for the entire downtown community. "With our LoveCarlisle.com website and Facebook page, among other marketing tools, we are able to promote downtown to the region along with helping out businesses succeed with expanding their reach through our marketing," he explains. The organization is also responsible for providing an enticing event and festival schedule, attracting as many visitors to the downtown area as possible. While it is not out of the ordinary for organizations to involve themselves in the community, it is rare for the community to welcome them with open arms.

On occasion, these groups and the community just don't see eye to eye on what is beneficial to the area, however, in DCA's case, the opposite is true. The community has actually responded optimistically- partnering with the DCA to contribute to the benefit of the Carlisle downtown area. "Being around since 1981, many members of our community have served in a variety of roles in serving downtown," says White. "We are fortunate to have stakeholders who know that downtowns are coming back, downtowns hold the place of a regional economic engine, and you go to a downtown for authenticity, history, and memories."

For over thirty years, the Downtown Carlisle Association has continued to work toward the betterment of the community. They strive to market the assets of Carlisle, as their mission statement details, and they continue to improve the local quality of life by increasing local tourism and economic contributions. In laymen's terms, they drive business and encourage tourism. All of which they do with the help of the very community they seek to aid. As White tells us, "Carlisle has many assets that surround it, but our biggest asset is our community and how everyone pulls for the common good."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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