BY HOPE HARRINGTON OAKES
When Barbara Bigelow became the Director of Main Street Columbus in February, she had to hit the ground running and hasn’t had time to stop. Her time has been largely consumed by the enormous amount of planning and preparation that goes in to the annual Market Street Festival. Bigelow credits former Main Street Columbus Director Amber Brislin for helping produce the festival
“Amber was gracious enough to agree to be Market Street Festival’s chair,” Bigelow said. “She has such knowledge and is a great organizer. I was so fortunate to have her and her experience.”
Having served on the Board of Directors for Main Street Columbus for several years, Bigelow is well aware of how much work there is to do for the yearly festival.
She has helped with organizing and working on many community events in the past and Bigelow has served on the Lowndes Community Foundation (CREATE) and is a member of Exchange Club of Columbus. In addition, she is active in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM), Base Community Council and the Military Affairs Committee of the Golden Triangle Development Link.
Bigelow moved to Columbus 14 years ago with her husband, Chuck, who is the Facilities Manager at Stark Aerospace. Bigelow worked at the YMCA in Columbus as Director of Community Relations.
“It’s a great place, and I enjoyed working there a lot. I love the people here,” she said.
Bigelow said she is thrilled to have a job in which she can combine her love of working with people with her love of our city.
Driving Columbus Main Street
“Once Market Street Festival is past, my goal is to further promote and advance the many aspects of Columbus,” Bigelow said. “I am proud that the hard work of the merchants, downtown residents and the many, many volunteers that make up the award winning Columbus Main Street.”
Bigelow said her main goal is to increase the membership of Main Street Columbus by having a membership drive. She stresses that you don’t have to be a downtown merchant or resident to be a member of Columbus Main Street.
“Our downtown is the core of Columbus and everyone is welcome to help support our community,”she said. “The more money we have, then the more we can do. Market Street Festival is the biggest fundraiser of the year, and I think this will be one of our biggest years, yet. There is so much to look forward to.We have a fabulous line-up of music, activities for all ages and we are still getting from 10 to 15 calls a day for booths, although there are no more to be had.That much interest is exciting.”
On those rare occasions that she gets to relax at home, Bigelow said she enjoys reading, knitting and spending time with Chuck and their Yorkie, Maizie.
“I’m really honored and thrilled to be here,” Bigelow said. “I want to continue to work hard to make our downtown the best in the state of Mississippi.”