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DownTown at SunDown

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Heartland Real Estate Corp

Downtown at Sundown

Saturday Night Cruise on the Circle

By Dawn Dell, Dell Realty                                              

April 12, 2008, Saturday Night Cruise 

I often hear in Highlands County that "there's nothing to do around here", well I beg to differ. You just have to be in the know, since I am a business owner in downtown Sebring I have really started getting involved in what activities are actually occurring downtown. Last night was the April Saturday Night Cruise. First off I must admit I am somewhat a car buff, I really like the old muscle cars and of course the 57 Chevy's and Chrysler's also are very appealing to me, so I may be somewhat bias, but... there was music going on, a 50/50 drawing, and people just getting out walking and enjoying what Florida is all about, outdoor living. The entertainment is provided by the Sebring Chamber of Commerce, RJ the DJ, he and his wife Tania are somewhat a fixture with these car cruises, I asked RJ, what is a "cruiser" he said, "it is not a membership or club, we are just people with cars that cruise together". Having the circle to display the cars seems like a perfect mix to me. One of the misconceptions of downtown is that there are no parking spots available, but Dawn Hamilton at the Wine Merchant informed me that there are over 1500 available public parking spots available within walking distance. The City does not close off the circle, but a courtesy is given to the cars on display. Last night in front of the Samich Shoppe the corvettes where in fine display. At each of these events, that occur every second Saturday of the month on the circle from 5pm to 8pm, there are several winners. No judging just winners picked by a different individual each month and they get a plaque and their name announced at the end of the evening. I had the pleasure of getting to take the pictures of several of these winners and their prized possessions. Each entry also has a chance of winning one of many other prizes, donated by a downtown business owner and other Highlands County Merchants who wants to keep this event going. The 50/50 drawing is for everyone attending the event, this helps the Chamber with the funding of paying RJ the DJ, half of it goes to him and the other half to the lucky winner. While downtown you can visit the Wine Merchant, there was live entertainment, they are open every Saturday Night from 6-9pm with live entertainment and great "tapest" appetizers, we had spinach puffs and bacon wrapped scallops and of course some great wine. The Samich Shoppe was also open for the event and had their famous over stuffed sandwiches and even beer for sale. While at the Wine Merchant John & Erin Sowards & Kendra Hall enjoyed some wine and the live music and said "We love coming here with the great ambiance and experience, there needs to be more places like this. It feels like Sebring is growing up!" While there are stores closed and many for rent signs in the windows, I look at it as a time of evolution. After speaking with Dawn Hamilton at the Wine Merchant I hear her ideas and what she envisions what downtown can be, and I have to agree whole-hearted. If you are a business owner and are thinking out of the box you can see there is opportunity right in front of you. As a local Realtor one of the many things I hear, is what is happening downtown? Why are so many businesses closing? Well I do not have the answer, but I do know that we have a charming circle with great potential just waiting to be discovered. My father, Pat Dell, did a commercial for our company Dell Realty, and we used a Disney theme "It's a small town after all" and we had the camera cruise the downtown area with all the people smiling and waving, also did a radio campaign with the same theme. Those commercials have not ran for over 3 years, but people still tell me they remember them. It is a small town and we have a great little historic district that is in need of some CPR. Being the fact that I work downtown I can also say this. With gas prices soaring and the downturn in the economy you may want to consider these facts, I can drive to my office, park and walk to my dry cleaners, see my accountant, banker, get my prescriptions filled, visit my stock investment broker, eat at several different places, go to the court house, close a transaction with a local attorney, take a jewelry class, buy supplies for scrap-booking, get my hair done, have a pedicure, visit one of many speciality clothing shops and learn pottery by Gene Brenner or buy a special something for a special someone from his great shop (jewelry too!), have my photos taken professionally, get a look at some of the latest designs in eye wear at VeyeP, go to Scota Supply and help a client redecorate their home or make improvements while visiting their impressive showroom, take my pet to Arcade Grooming and have it cleaned, clipped and smelling good, go to the library and still have a after work happy hour business meeting at either Charlie's or Wine Merchant and never have to get back into my car. With gas prices going up, you may want to consider these facts and visit downtown Sebring and see what is available and look at those vacant stores with open eyes of opportunity.

Dawn Dell
Heartland Real Estate Corp - Sebring, FL

RIP, RJ the DJ, my heart goes out to Tania! God Bless


Jun 25, 2008 10:41 PM