Chairman: Fran Hunter
The Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce has always served as welcome wagon for those who wander into Smithville, usually off the beaten path from Austin to Houston and vice-versa. But the task the Chamber relishes the most is that of hosting people in outside organizations – mainly because it involves integrating our community members with those from elsewhere that perhaps would never have another reason to meet.
EVENTS AROUND SMITHVILLE
Of course, the Chamber’s signature event is the annual Festival of Lights celebration, every first Saturday in December. There are constants involved such as the holiday-style arts and crafts show, the food-on-a-stick, the “oooohhh and ahhhh”-inspiring lighted nighttime parade. However, there are those moments when a special element is added to garner fresh interest such as the baking of the Guinness World Record largest gingerbread man in 2006. There has been an uptick in visitors recently who have found our gingerbread man by way of both the internet and the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and felt compelled to be photographed next to Smitty, Smithville’s tallest, jolliest citizen.
The other major event associated with Smithville is its annual 5-day Jamboree celebration. The Chamber of Commerce hosts the downtown shopping area, we play a support role by promoting the event. The Jamboree committee is a hard-working group represented by a cross-section of the community that earned the title of “Organization of the Year” at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Banquet in 2008.
A couple of events are designed to bring in visitors from all over Texas and beyond – namely, Thunder on the Colorado Biker Rally, (March) the wildly popular weekend motorcycle rally held at Riverbend Park. The Chamber also plays a support role in the Smithville Airport Fly-In and Lunch (May), the event that showcases one of Smithville’s greatest assets, the Smithville Crawford Municipal Airport. The Chamber has hosted bikers from as far away as California and pilots from as far away as north Texas in the course of these events, most eager to return to Smithville for the next go-round.
Other events include the quickly growing Texas Photo Festival (October), hosting photographers, educators and models along with planned sets and fun contests, and the popular City-Wide Garage Sale (October), where people travel the town and find all sorts of treasures.
Also in town is the annual Casino Night (July) which includes dinner and gaming.
Events change or are added by the chamber or other committees around town, so do check the calendar.
If you haven’t dropped in to the Visitor’s Center at the Chamber office, we strongly encourage you to take a peek at what visitors experience when they arrive in town. Aside from the friendly community hosts greeting them with a smile, guests have access to volumes of information on topics ranging from Smithville’s railroad and commerce history (the Railroad Museum is attached to the Visitor’s Center) to current business listings, access to non-profit contacts, and local event information.
The Chamber has paired with fitness organizations to bring semi-annual duathlons to town. These races, which involve a leg of biking and a leg of running, occur in the spring and the fall, right in the heart of downtown! By keeping our merchants aware of these happenings, they can offer special incentives for duathlon participants and their supporters to shop with them or eat at their dining establishments at the conclusion of the race.
The Chamber is currently working on revamping the marketing for the Chamber and all the wonderful things about Smithville, coordinating with the city and the Richard Latham Culteral District committee.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:32|