When bicycle racers on the Exergy Tour pedaled through Hyde Park last spring, people lined the sidewalks to watch.
Seeing all those people in the two-block area of shops, restaurants and other businesses gave the merchants an idea: Find a way to draw more people to Hyde Park throughout the year. So Becky West, director of the nonprofit Dunia Marketplace, formerly 10,000 Villages, and some others got together.
The result is the Historic Hyde Park Alliance, a group in its formative stage. Hyde Park had a merchants association, but it disbanded in 2009.
Hyde Park gets lots of visitors in the summer and around Christmas, but it can be slow other times of the year, West says. For retail, everyone is just trying to stay afloat, she says.
The alliance has created a logo, left, and put together events for Thursday, Dec. 20, aimed at getting people into the area. They include lantern decorating at 6 p.m. at 13th Street Pub and Grill. Between 2 and 7 p.m., people can roast marshmallows at Dunia Marketplaces courtyard at 1609 N. 13th St., and decorate ornaments at the Stinker station.
After Christmas, West says the alliance will go to work developing its own Web page and make plans for a Valentines Day event. The alliance also wants to become a nonprofit so it can raise funds. Members will also talk about establishing dues for members.
Bill Roberts 377-6408