Main Street First supports a wide range of community-minded initiatives. We serve as an umbrella organization for ideas and initiatives that need to get their legs under them before they can run on their own. We’re proud to have incubated community programs like the Little Falls Micro Fund, which is now a 501(c)3 in its own right. We also administer a generous grant that supports the upkeep of the composting toilet on Moss Island, which serves hikers and climbers who visit and explore this stunning natural resource.
There’s a place for everyone in Main Street First. We form standing and ad hoc committees and task forces made up of volunteers who enthusiastically spearhead our monthly, annual, and “on the fly” activities. Check out some of the things we have going on and let us know if you’d like to become part of one of these teams or simply volunteer occasionally at an event. You’re welcome in any capacity that works for you!
On the third Thursday of each month, the City of Little Falls throws itself a party! MSF’s Think Local Little Falls committee works with our more than 80 local merchant members and supporters to coordinate special events, sales, and entertainment offerings to delight and engage people of all ages and incomes. It’s truly an opportunity for the whole community to enjoy the experience of what Little Falls has to offer. From food specials, product samples, and promotional offers to workshops, live music, and contests, every Third Thursday has something for everyone!
Five of our Third Thursday events have become so popular they are now annual events we refer to as “Super Third Thursdays.” We get visitors flocking from throughout the region to attend our April Earth Day celebration, June Art Walk, July Midsummer’s Night Picnic, September Pizza Challenge, and Oktoberfest.
Little Falls was once the cheese capital of the USA. The Little Falls Cheese Festival celebrates that history with a unique selection of New York State’s finest artisan cheeses and related gourmet food products. For more information about the details of this year’s festival, visit the Little Falls Cheese Festival website.
Small Business Saturday
Celebrated nationwide each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. MSF’s Think Local Little Falls committee works with local merchants to coordinate specials and activities throughout the city to celebrate Small Business Saturday in Little Falls.
Christmas in Little Falls
Each year on a Saturday in December, Little Falls welcomes visitors and locals alike to enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas street festival atmosphere in a historic and picturesque “snow globe” community. With dozens of fun events, holiday specials, and an indoor farmers’ market and craft fair organized by Think Local Little Falls committee members, Christmas in Little Falls is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit!
Clean Energy Task Force
The Clean Energy Task Force was formed to support the City of Little Falls’ efforts to become a NYSERDA Clean Energy Community and DEC Climate Smart Community. Members help to coordinate community outreach and educational events and serve as a standing group of volunteers ready to help support the City as it pursues these goals. We are also exploring ideas for Main Street First-driven initiatives, so stay tuned for developments!
One of the most exciting opportunities available in Little Falls and the Mohawk Valley region right now involves the recent formation of the Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank, the passing of the 2016 NYS Zombie Property Law, and the various programs and regional collaborations that are coming out of these.
The City of Little Falls acted quickly and decisively to position itself as an ideal partner for the Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank, and Main Street First worked to organize community “Fight Blight” educational sessions to promote the opportunities available through the new programs. Together, we created a community that was so appealing to the Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank that it decided to headquarter its six-county operations in Little Falls and focus on us as their Herkimer County pilot project!
Main Street First Land Bank committee members continue to partner with the City of Little Falls, Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank, and other local and regional organizations to leverage these and other programs to fight blight and promote sustainability in our community.
Since the formation of Main Street First, we have repeatedly undertaken cleanup projects throughout the City. It’s one of the many things that our members do well, and that have an immediate and lasting effect.
After becoming a partner with Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful (the local chapter of Keep America Beautiful) in 2013, an annual Cleanup Project has been on our schedule, along with a variety of other improvement projects around town. We regularly partner with other local organizations to support their cleanup projects, so this is an active and rewarding way to become involved in Main Street First!
One of Main Street First’s current initiatives is to grow our existing ties with other local and regional not-for-profits into an informal coalition. This will allow us to more closely coordinate efforts among the various volunteer and service organizations in our area and help eliminate accidental scheduling conflicts and duplication of effort. It will also give us a vehicle for collaborating on projects and grant opportunities that could bring even more exciting opportunities to the City of Little Falls!