So far in 2019, local businesses helped the Pasadena Business Association raise nearly $12,000 during an ‘80s-themed event and the Lake Shore-Severna Park Rotary collect $10,833 during its crab soup cook-off, with both totals funding scholarships for Pasadena teens. Financial support from local businesses also allows the Friends of Downs Park to give the community an additional five shows during its summer concert series.
Those are just two examples of how Pasadena benefits immensely from having so many small businesses in town.
“People don’t like to see all the empty storefronts on Mountain Road, but this is why,” said Sandi Parrish, PBA executive director. “The big-box stores and online retailers don’t give to sports teams, churches and schools like our members do.”
That impact will be highlighted during the free Shop Local Festival on Saturday, June 8, from 10:00am to 3:00pm at Lakeshore Plaza. A rain date is set for Saturday, June 15.
Although the inaugural event in 2018 was successful, bigger expectations abound for 2019.
“Last year, we had tables inside and individual tents outside, so there was lots of activity and a ton of entertainment,” said Paulette Morris, owner of Idea Weaver Promotions and co-chair of the festival.
The entertainment this year is diverse with children’s activities, games, vendor demos, music, food, prizes, and special offers and free samplings offered by local businesses.
Attendees will be treated to face painting by Mt. Carmel Child Development Center, temporary tattoos by Idea Weaver Promotions, a putting green provided by Huff Insurance, a scavenger hunt coordinated by Century 21 Don Gurney Real Estate, and other games and activities brought by Grannie Annie Childcare & Learning Center. Crafts for children, parents and grandparents will be provided courtesy of Macaroni Kid and Artsy Partsy.
Adults can take advantage of seated massages by Stacie’s Natural Touch. A photo booth will offer the perfect opportunity to take selfies with props. Costello’s Ace Hardware & Hearth will grill bacon.
Morris expects the music to be a big draw. “DJ Marcus has high energy and there will be big, open space for anyone who wants to dance,” Morris said.
As is the case with all PBA events, the Shop Local Festival will have a charitable component. Attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items for Pasadena food pantries.
“We have heard and understand that in the summer, kids who depend on school lunch don’t have that anymore and their families have to look elsewhere,” Morris said, “so local food pantries run a little low on food during the summer.”
Lauer’s Supermarket & Bakery and Angel’s Food Market will have shopping carts at the festival entrances to collect food donations. Festivalgoers can also drop off their nonperishables at any vendor table or at the PBA tent.
Of course, the event will also emphasize the importance of local businesses.
“If you buy a product here, you’re getting the guidance and expertise with it,” said festival co-chair Mike Dacre, who owns Home Town Exterior House Cleaning. “If you’re buying paint or stain, you have someone to explain the options. You’re not just buying the product, you’re buying the service. You don’t get that knowledge with an 800 number.
“Also, you’re supporting someone in this community so they can support you,” he added.
Morris seconded the importance of events like Shop Local in uniting the business and community.
“In this age of online shopping and big-box stores, some small businesses can get lost in the shuffle,” Morris wrote in a press release promoting the festival. “The true mission of the PBA Shop Local message is to remind everyone about how important it is to shop local and support local. When we shop local, we are supporting local business owners. Local businesses provide jobs, support our local schools and sports teams as well as local nonprofit organizations. In short, shopping local is good for our community. Shopping local makes our community stronger and better.”
For more information about the Shop Local Festival or Pasadena businesses, visit www.pasadenabusinessassociation.com.