Those who know me, know I was not born in Statesville but relocated a few years ago from Buffalo, New York. I still go home every year—in the summertime, mind you—to visit my family, and when I do, I explore my hometown from the eyes of a visitor. All the things I took for granted when I was growing up, I now see from a different viewpoint. It really is a beautiful city!
Sometimes, we need to view our hometown from a visitor’s perspective in order to see all that it has to offer. Recently, the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce hosted a Fam Tour (short for familiarization) to expose the frontline staff at local hotels to some area restaurants, attractions, and shops. This knowledge would enable them to make conscious referrals when visitors ask for local dinner and activity suggestions. The group toured destinations like Fort Dobbs, Southern Distilling, Rescue Ranch, Key to Escape, and several downtown restaurants and shops. I was fortunate to join this group and walk with them as we explored and enjoyed a few things downtown has to offer. Now, when guests check in at their hotel, the staff can greet them with, “Welcome to Statesville! We have some amazing places for you to check out while you’re in town.”
I think the Chamber’s Fam Tour is something we can all learn and benefit from, including me. As a creature of habit and a bit of an introvert/homebody, I tend to stick with my daily routine. It is still staggering to me the number of longtime residents who never come downtown and are generally unaware of all the things going on in Statesville.
When is the last time you tried a new locally owned restaurant, explored downtown to check out the new shops, attended a community event, listened to some local music, or enjoyed a community theatre production?
I encourage all of us to take some time to step out of our everyday routines and explore the community in which we live—but do it through the eyes of a visitor. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Start by visiting our website, www.downtownstatesvillenc.org, to learn about these great community events and so much more:
Piedmont HealthCare Friday after Five Concert
Friday, September 7–Featuring
Phatt City (Beach, R&B, Dance)
Friday, September 14–Enjoy over 50 artists’ work displayed throughout downtown businesses.
Full Bloom Film Festival
September 13 through September 15–A 3-day film festival bringing diverse, quality films to downtown Statesville.
Hops & Harmony Craft Brew Fest
Saturday, October 6–Featuring craft beer, live bands, and delicious food.
October 19-20 & October 26-27–
Haunted Statesville is a walking ghost tour full of old stories and legends from Statesville’s past.
October 19, 20 & 21–Over 50 hot air balloons, music, food, vendors, kids’ zone, and more!
Statesville Pumpkin Fest
November 6–Arts & crafts, food, and business vendors, Kids’ Zone, and three entertainment stages.