First Flag: ‘Scooping the Loop’

Posted November 2, 2017 at 5:00 am

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By Julie Ann Madden

The first idea from Akron Mayor Sharon Frerichs’ Plant Your Flag Party came to fruition Saturday night.

“Scoop the Loop was a roaring success,” Frerichs told The Akron Hometowner about Saturday night’s event from 8 to 10 p.m. on Reed Street. “It was so much fun.”

Cars cruised the loop from Second Street to Fourth Street, including the mayor and her husband, Bob.

“It was just like the Roaring Sixties,” said Frerichs, explaining there were fun things to do as the Coordinators Jennie Roed and Hollie St. Pierre held up signs encouraging cruisers to Roll Down Your Windows, Turn Up Your Music, and Do Chinese Fire Drills.

“One gal was all excited because she picked up a guy to ride in her car with her,” said Frerichs, “and people would pull up next to each other or pull off along the side and talk.”

“It was so impressive to see so many lights up and down Reed Street,” said Frerichs.

Scoop The Loop participants received Chubs Country Store ice cream coupons.

“So many goals were met because so many congregated at Chub’s, sat around and talked,” said Frerichs.

“Our goal was to get the youth back downtown,” said St. Pierre, explaining they brainstormed at the Plant Your Flag Party on ways to do that. “Some of my best childhood memories of being in this small hometown were being downtown with your classmates and upperclassmen — everyone hanging out downtown and just having fun.”

Cruising the loop was one of the coordinators’ favorites.

“We were surprised by how many people showed up and how much excitement there was with it,” said St. Pierre. “It was a wide variety of people, cool cars, a lot of fun.”

She estimated they gave out about 80 coupons to individuals who cruised in the approximately 20 to 30 cars. Participants ranged in age from 7 to 70s.

“It was good, wholesome fun for people to come out and have a good time,” said St. Pierre, who wore several Halloween masks throughout the evening. “It was a great night.”

“There wasn’t as much youth as we expected downtown,” said Roed, noting some were afraid their vehicles would get wrecked and/or they’d get in trouble with the police.

“I attended it as a spectator,” said Akron Police Chief Bill Young, who was amazed at the number of people participating. “As long as people are driving safely, I see no problem with it.”

“We encourage youth to come down and cruise the loop,” said Roed. “No one will be pulled over if you are driving responsible.”

“Stay tuned for the next announcement for our next event,” she added.

St. Pierre and Roed are already planning their next venture for youth of all ages. Their ideas include more Scoop The Loops, movie nights, cell-phone free game nights, have rock climbing wall and painting parties.

Plant Your Flag Party

There were 25 people who participated in the mayor’s Plant Your Flag Party.

They broke into groups around a “Flag” they were interested in. Flags included industrial growth, fine arts, the old care center facility, youth activities, park projects, the swimming pool,

Each group brainstormed ideas.

Park Projects: Develop Akron’s boat ramp area; install more camping pads at city park; improve the Ron Wilmot Walking Trail; utilize the city park’s tennis courts for volleyball tournaments; and host Movies in the Park and hold Garden Tea “Horticulture” Party fundraisers.

Business Growth: “For Sale” signs placed on Akron Business Park lots; regional advertising; update Akron website; install more business security cameras, focus on tech businesses for Akron such as computer repair

Revitalizing Old Care Center Facility: bring businesses to second floor

Park Projects: Swimming pool fundraisers; park fundraisers; host movies at Akron Senior Center (instead of park) and other events such as square dancing; hold a “Quarters & Pennies” fundraiser like they did for the first swimming pool.

Tourism: Walking Photo Tour of Akron

For more information, contact Frerichs.

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