Future looks bright for Downtown Lock Haven Inc.

PHOTO PROVIDED Downtown Lock Haven volunteers put together flower pots over the summer.

LOCK HAVEN — Small towns across America shuttered amidst the 2020 pandemic and shutdowns, but the City of Lock Haven and Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. showed ingenuity, resilience, and a glimpse into the future of Lock Haven becoming a destination for people from across Pennsylvania and neighboring states.

“In 2020, a lot changed at Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. I become the new manager of the organization, six new small businesses opened, the City of Lock Haven instituted the Pedestrian Mall, and outdoor seating for dining,” said Marie Vilello, Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. Manager. “The Pedestrian Mall helped our small businesses survive the capacity restrictions and offered the community the opportunity to maintain support.”

Vilello hit the ground running with the city on the street closure, assisting business owners, new and old, and working with a reorganized board.

The future looks bright for Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. 2021 has plans for increased partnership with the city and Summer Concert Series Committee. The organization is also planning a membership drive, a Hometown Hero Banner Ceremony, a renewed summer pedestrian mall, a Saturday morning “Market Village on Main” farmer’s market, and Small Business Saturdays during the holidays, just to name a few.

“Our goal as an organization is to provide resources and support to our membership and offer events and promotions that the entire business district in Lock Haven can utilize to increase revenue and foot traffic,” said Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. board president, Angela Harding.

PHOTO PROVIDED A gorgeous sunset falls over downtown Lock Haven during one of the pedestrian mall events last year.

In 2021, Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. will rely on its board of directors and the various committees within the organization to plan and implement their goals.

Currently there are five active member-focused committees. They are Design, Hometown Hero Banner, Promotions, Merchants, and Economic Restructuring. A sixth committee, Cultural Center, is focused on converting the Masonic Temple on Main Street into a facility that offers art, culture, diversity, and collaboration. The six committees and the board are comprised of over 40 individuals ranging from small business owners and elected officials to property owners and local professionals.

“Right now we are working on $500 small business grants for our members. Downtown Lock Haven received a “Neighborhood Assistance Program” (NAP) grant in 2019 and with the help of the Economic Restructuring Committee we will be rolling out an application for our members to apply for the funds,” said Vilello. “There is $12,500 remaining in the NAP grant and we, as an organization, felt the best way to utilize it would be to help our members in the first quarter of 2021 due to the continued ramifications of the pandemic.”

Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. is excited for all of the momentum that is carrying over from 2020 and even though life is not “back to normal” just yet… small town America is making a comeback.

“We’ve heard from shop owners who have had customers from Lewistown, Bellefonte, and as far away as Erie in the last few months,” said Harding. “The future of Downtown Lock Haven is just beginning and with so many people working together, collaborating, and communicating, the energy continues to grow.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Downtown Lock Haven Inc. Board President Angela Harding.

Downtown Lock Haven Inc.


205 E. Main Street, Lock Haven, PA 17754


PHOTO PROVIDED Downtown Lock Haven Inc. Manager Marie Vilello.


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