Chamber keeps a full calendar

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 3, 2006

In continuing the series of articles focused on increasing awareness of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce and what we do, this week I’d like to discuss some of the events, schedules, activities and partnerships of the Chamber.

Most everyone is familiar with the events that we host. There is Freedom on the River, a patriotic celebration held on July 4; River City Rumble which is the annual race of the Outboard Drag Boat Association, held on the third weekend in July; and of course Christmas on the River, which is a weeklong celebration that culminates on the first Saturday of December each year. Each of these events requires extensive planning and preparation. The Chamber’s role in hosting these events is to assemble and facilitate a committee of volunteers to assist with the planning and operations of each event. Because these events are a major part of the Chamber’s Program of Work, much attention and time is focused on the successful completion and the growth of these events.

Since these activities all take place during a set time of the year, our calendar, to a certain extent, revolves around these events. In fact, we have very little control over our schedules due to the number of events, activities, tours and meetings that we participate in. Most of the tours that we host are set by tour companies, most meetings are set by the sponsoring organizations, most activities are scheduled around community calendars and, as previously mentioned, our event dates are mostly set with holidays.

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Sometimes, in order to assist Chamber members and other local organizations, we will partner with one or the other to provide a service or activity for the betterment of the quality of life of Demopolis residents. Typically we will partner with some of our local businesses to host ‘Chamber After-hours’ or ‘Chamber Breakfast’ events. We also work with organizations such as the Two Rivers Arts Council and the Marengo County Historical Society on hosting events such as ‘Sax in the City’ and the ‘Murder Mystery Dinner Theaters’.

I have been asked many times before why the Chamber is involved in event and activity planning for the city. Many people wonder why we don’t just focus on the promotion and marketing of our membership. Well, the answer to these questions is easy – event and activity planning for the city IS promotion and marketing of our membership. Our intent is to bring locals out and tourists in for these events so they can shop in our stores, eat in our restaurants, buy gas from our stations and overnight in our hotels. These events are also another avenue to improve the quality of life for our local residents. Both of these outcomes are again part of the overall mission of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce.