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Posted: 01/02/13

MRP seeks to expand
annual events in 2013

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      The Romeo Merchants, Restaurants and Professionals (MRP) Association is seeking to join with other organizations to increase interest in Romeo in 2013.
       The MRP is made up of representatives from businesses, restaurants and other organizations within the Village of Romeo. Its goal is to promote business, entertainment and recreation for visitors and residents alike.
       MRP Treasurer Carol Humphreys said one of the goals of the MRP in 2013 is to expose more of the businesses that don't receive as much attention, whether its location or their type of business.
       "We have businesses on Lafayette, Washington, South Main and St. Clair that never get touched," she said. "There are so many professionals in the village and so many other small businesses that people don't know about."
       One of the ways the MRP does this is through sales events held throughout the year, and this year will see the return of five traditional events.
       "We're trying to look at every event and look at what will bring more people together and what we can do with other organizations to coordinate events and make them bigger and better," said Humphreys.
       The first major event warms the heart and tingles the taste buds in February with Romeo Romantic Days and Chocolate Festival. Visitors in downtown are treated to chocolate-themed treats and sales, and usually coincides with a military care package drive.
       The Sidewalk Sales and Street Festival will have businesses and vendors hitting the streets in July. Humphreys said the MRP hopes to expand the event to include more businesses that may not have been involved before.
       "We want to focus on all the village businesses, not just the downtown, but the whole village," Humphreys said. "We can bring in those that aren't in the central business district and make it an expo."
       The MRP will help usher in the fall season with the Romeo Harvest Days event in October. The event is a way for downtown businesses to show their appreciation to customers and residents with a number of low-cost or free events.
       November belongs to the ladies as the MRP holds its annual Ladies Night Out sales event, which typically offers special sales and free treats to pamper shoppers.
       The year will wrap up in December with the Old-Fashioned Christmas in the Village event.
       In addition to the events, the MRP is looking to create a brochure that provides details about each business in the Village of Romeo.
       To participate in the events or brochure, MRP members collect a one-time fee each year that finances its operations. Non-members can still participate in events, but pay a different fee.
       Aside from membership fees, the MRP receives funding from the Romeo Downtown Development Authority (DDA).
      


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