Lee to stay with Hope Main Street

HOPE – Three months after stating his intention to step down, Main Street of Hope Executive Director Matt Lee is reconsidering that announcement.

Lee now says he intends to stay in his current part-time position for several more months.

“I’m gonna stay until Jan. 1,” Lee told the Hope Town Council. “And with events starting to take shape, I may stay longer than that. I’m pretty excited about all the things that could happen in 2023.”

Lee specifically mentioned “Thunder on the Square,” a motorcycle show held last month in Hope. Lee said next year’s event might bring “an opportunity that could be very large here.” He promised to release more details next month.

One upcoming event that Main Street of Hope is spearheading for this summer will be a cruise-in that features only Jeeps. The town council approved the event for Saturday, Aug 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the town square.

Harrison and Washington streets next to the town square will be closed off to the public during that period to make room to display what Lee believes will be more than 100 Jeeps from several automotive clubs in the region.

But following the advice of Hope Town Marshal Matt Tallent, council members declined Lee’s request to also shut down Jackson Street on the north side of the square during the event. The concern was that making Jackson inaccessible to traffic might harm businesses located along the street.

Besides Jeeps and live-music, the August Cruise-in will also feature several food vendors and a canned food drive, Lee said.

Another unique event for Hope will be a free professional wrestling exhibition produced by Emerge Wrestling of Columbus.

Set up on the east side of the town square, the event will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct 21, with the ring being placed in the middle of Harrison Street in front of the library annex. Organizers say the first of seven to eight matches will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the event is likely to last from 90 minutes to two hours.

In case of rain, the wrestling exhibition will likely be moved to the new Hope firehouse at the intersection of South and Aiken streets.

Main Street of Hope is an accredited member of the Indiana Main Street organization, which encourages community-driven revitalization of downtown areas in Indiana cities and towns.