Strasburg reaches out to community to name event space

The Town of Strasburg plans on naming an event space across from the Town Hall. But town officials aren’t going to name the space by themselves; instead, they plan on giving community members a large say in the matter.

Michelle Bixler, economic development and marketing manager for the town, said that the town is giving citizens the month of November to submit ideas on what the town’s event space should be named.

The process, Bixler said, allows the town to work alongside community members in their development of a space that is designed for community events.

“We are really interested in getting the community’s input and in having the community own the space,” Bixler said. “And this is one way the community can do that and be engaged and submit their ideas.”

Bixler said that the town is hoping to get as many ideas as they can for the name of the event space. If the town does not receive 20 submissions by the end of the month, they will extend the deadline for submissions until they receive 20 ideas.

Members of the management team for the grant that is funding the event space then plan to narrow the number of choices down to what Bixler described as a “consumable amount” — between three and five choices. Then, community members will vote, making a final decision on the name of the space around March 2018.

That gives town officials some ability to curate among the submitted names and determine which ideas they believe would make good names for the space.

But the reason the town decided to give the grant management team some say on the names was more practical, Bixler said. Having citizens vote among over 20 ideas would simply be unmanageable.

“We wanted to get as many ideas as possible, and so that’s why we opened it up for everyone,” Bixler said. “But…we can only have so many options for folks to vote on or else you could end up with 600 different names of 600 different votes. So this was the mechanism that we chose to make that happen.”

Bixer said that the town has not decided whether or not it will display the name of the event space.

“Certainly that would make sense,” Bixler said. “But it’s not in the plans anywhere yet. But it would be lovely to have that be the case; we’ll just have to see what that looks like moving forward.”

But more broadly, Bixler said that naming the event space will help give the space “an identity.”

“And people will call it something regardless of whether we actually go through this process,” Bixler said. “So this allows us to hopefully assist in that effort.”

The event space is going to be used for community events. It will have a stage, public restrooms and a pavilion.

The pavilion will be set up for “pop-up businesses” that allow community members to test out their business ideas.

“If you have an idea — a business idea that you wanted to test out to see if there’s a market for it–you could come and coordinate with the town and set up in our pavilion,” Bixler said.