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After yet another Main Street Laurens success, Irick accepts state level Main Street post

Jonathan Irick

Laurens, South Carolina – Plenty of rain Friday night didn’t dampen the spirits of the many residents who came out to Main Street Laurens’ first Finally Friday of the 2023 summer season, as adults underneath umbrellas and children with wet hair joyfully danced in The Plaza to the music of David E. And the Band Levelz.
“It turned out to be really good despite the rain,” said Main Street Laurens Director Jonathan Irick. “We decided to move forward and we were glad the band was willing to play. It was fun to see people still having a good time, making the best of it, and as the rain died down, the crowd continued to grow.”

Irick has been making such decisions for Main Street Laurens since he took on the role of director in April of 2006.
Within another month or so, however, Irick will instead be assisting in the growth of other Main Street communities as he’s accepted a position as a Main Street South Carolina Staff Associate under the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

“This was an opportunity that’s come at what I consider a good time for our own program,” Irick said of the Main Street Laurens program. “Main Street Laurens is nationally and state accredited. We have a wonderful group of volunteers, support from the businesses and support from the City of Laurens, so it’s a great time for this change to happen.”

He’s taking on a position newly created because of the rapid growth of the Main Street program in the state, Irick said.
Aside from those nationally and state accredited groups, there are many Main Street organizations which often need assistance as they work to improve their standing, encourage historic preservation and better assist the businesses which make up a town’s historic business district.
In his new role, Irick will be working with the Friends Level communities and he’ll serve on resource teams to visit and assist brand new Main Street communities.

“Most towns and cities have a street called Main Street, but that doesn’t mean they have a Main Street organization,” Irick said. “There is a lot of programming that is being done for our Main Street South Carolina communities – assisting with grant requests and helping to create a thriving downtown business environment. We have more than 30 communities doing some level of Main Street South Carolina work and I’ll be assisting Main Street South Carolina Director Jenny Boulware, traveling to some of those towns to assist in developing their programs.”

Boulware said Irick’s experience will help communities across the state.
“With over 17 years of local Main Street leadership, he will bring tremendous expertise to this new statewide role,” she said. “He’ll be helping to advance our work to support community-driven, preservation-based economic development.”
Irick is confident that with the continued partnerships with the City of Laurens, businesses and the Main Street Laurens board and volunteers, the current emphasis on growth and preservation here will continue.
But Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn said his change of position will be felt.
“While he will be transitioning to a new position with Main Street South Carolina in Columbia, we are grateful that Jonathan will continue to reside in Laurens, bringing his expertise and passion to benefit our community from a distance,” Senn said. “His commitment to revitalizing our downtown and fostering economic development has left an indelible mark on our city and we look forward to his continued contributions to our town’s growth and revitalization.”

As for the weekly Friday night entertainment, Palmetto Brothers Dispensary and the City of Laurens will host Friday Night Live this weekend when Andrew Wooten returns to perform, and the following week Main Street’s Finally Friday returns with The Flashbacks, and visitors are encouraged to dress for a beach theme.

This story originally ran Page 1 of the Wednesday, May 17, 2023  issue of The Laurens County Advertiser.

1 Comment

  1. William Lowell on May 18, 2023 at 7:03 am

    How about they focus money to fix the roads. Seriously the roads in the county are falling apart.. No wonder no businesses want to come here. If I owned a company with any type of fleet I’d be spending more money trying to maintain the, because the dang roads play havoc on the suspension.
    How about some sidewalks for people who need them. Especially along 76 between Clinton and laurens. But mainly stop wasting tax dollars on bands and fix the dang roads

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