Source: Sherman Publications

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Who wants to take over Kids Town?

by Trevor Keiser

March 20, 2013

Celebrate Oxford, scheduled for Aug. 3, is almost set, but due to budget cuts the Oxford Downtown Development Authority (DDA), which has run the activity in the past is looking for an organization or a group of organizations to take over the Kids Town.

"The purpose of a DDA is an economic development engine and over the past four years while the underlying focus has been that and we've made some huge progress in different things - Focus and a lot of expense went into the events and with our budgets being cut we just can't do that anymore," said DDA Director Madonna Van Fossen. "We really need to focus more on the economic development, the streetscape is part of that and there is a lot of work involved in that."

However Van Fossen said this is anopportunity for a non-profit or organization to get their name out there to an excess of 3,000 people, as well as generate some revenue.

"For whoever steps up to takeover Kids Town, they can either mimic what we've done in the past, get rides, bounce houses that type of thing or they can do whatever they want, anything that has to do with kids," she said. "They can charge, they can not charge, they can take donations for their organization or they can look for sponsors. They can do whatever they want."

Events are now being handled by a Community Events Committee, which is made up of representatives from the Village, Oxford Township Parks and Recreation, the Oxford Chamber of Commerce and the DDA, said Van Fossen. She noted that the DDA is not getting out of the event business completely, but instead have retail events they're going to try and focus on more.

"To have the events they really need to be true community events, not just a DDA event, so that's what we're trying to do," she said. "It's not just because our budgets were cut. That's just a part of it. The other part is to really keep this town moving."

Those interested in taking over Kids Town can call Madonna Van Fossen at 248-770-8587.

"If no one steps up to the plate unfortunately we won't have a Kid's Town.," Van Fossen said. "We'll still have everything else, but we won't have a Kid's Town and that would just be a shame."