Downtown Destined to be Great Again

Merchants Allegiance focusing on collaboration, marketing

By Travis Weik

The heart of New Castle is bigger than just one road.

That’s one of the reasons local non-profit group New Castle Main Street is changing its name to New Castle Downtown.

“We are doing this to highlight the downtown businesses and to reflect the fact that we serve all of New Castle’s downtown, not just Main Street, “ said executive director Carrie Barrett.

Along with the new name, New Castle Downtown has launched a new website ( and logo.

Barrett said New Castle Downtown is still part of Indiana Main Street, which is part of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

Indiana Main Streets was established to provide economic revitalization and professional assistance to participating communities.

New Castle Downtown remains dedicated to renewing, growing and promoting downtown New Castle by stimulating economic growth and fostering community pride, while preserving the city’s unique history.

“New Castle Downtown is working hard to make our downtown a true destination,” Barrett said.

Barrett has been working with New Castle businesses – from the long-time Broad Street stores to new shop owners – to build a collaborative atmosphere that will benefit everyone downtown.

Nearly 40 representatives from downtown New Castle businesses sat down in January at the first meeting of the Downtown Merchants Alliance.

Barrett hopes the Merchants Alliance will play an active role in the growth members want to see downtown.

More than two dozen business representative attended the second Merchants Alliance meeting in February.

The conversation that night centered on marketing, events and decorations. Barrett said the events committee is interested in doing several events including Food Truck Tuesday, some sort of festival, like a downtown hops festival, some sort of spirit stroll and some other events.

The marketing committee is interested in a better social media presence, upgrading the “Welcome to New Castle” sign at the intersection of Ind. 3 and 38, gardening around town and possibly creating branded New Castle Downtown merchandise.

The decorations committee focused on flower pots and decorations at Memorial Day and Fourth of July.

“It gave us some clear direction and a place to start. Now, we can begin checking things off the list and keep with our mission,” Barrett said. “I’m really excited about the progress we’ve made so far and I’m looking forward to some bigger changes this summer!”

Barrett is excited to see the next season of Broad Street Cruise-Ins start April 6.

She’s also looking forward to the completion of 1400 Plaza and new downtown WiFi from New Lisbon Broadband and Communications.

For more information, visit

The next Downtown Merchants Alliance meeting is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 at 1414 Venue, located at 1414 Broad Street.

Reprinted with permission from The Courier Times. For more news about New Castle go to

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