Downtown Marceline Foundation 2023 in Review

Downtown Marceline Foundation

Another year has passed for the Downtown Marceline Foundation, so it’s time to review what we’ve done as an organization and what the community and businesses have done to help revitalize downtown Marceline. We’re grateful to the City of Marceline for their support of the Main Street program, and to all of the volunteers, businesses, and donors who make the work possible. We’re here to serve the Main Street district, our community, and our visitors.

In 2023, the Downtown Marceline Foundation website got over 107,000 visits; our volunteers donated more than 1,300 hours of their time (which calculates to over $43,000); we hosted and contributed to at least 16 events in town (large and small); 4 businesses opened in the Main Street District; hundreds-of-thousands of dollars were spent in building maintenance and renovations; and thousands of residents and visitors enjoyed Main Street USA.

Below are things Downtown Marceline Foundation accomplished or have worked on in 2023:


“The Organization Committee builds a governing framework that includes a diverse representation of business and property owners, citizens, schools, churches, public officials, chambers of commerce, historians and preservation organizations. Everyone must work together in a long-term effort to renew downtown and maintain its stability into the future. The Organization Committee also trains and develops leaders for the community’s revitalization efforts. Activities of the Organization Committee include establishing priorities through comprehensive work plans, providing the organization with sustainable sources of revenue, and volunteer development.”

  • The ‘Chester Ray Stadium’ historic ornament is the second in a set of three ornaments we’re selling as a fundraiser, while showcasing Marceline’s history. The first ornament was ‘Marceline High School’, which are almost sold out now.
  • We began promoting a guided bus tour of Mount Rushmore and the surrounding area, set for September 2024.
  • We created and sold another beautiful calendar, featuring Marceline for 2024. We hope to print them earlier next time to have them available for Christmas and other events.
  • The ‘Ultimate Tailgate Face-off online auction’ in October was a delicious success, which raised more than $1,100 thanks to the ‘grill masters’ who donated their time and food to the event.
  • As part of the annual car show, we hosted the “Cookie Crawl” with donations from Main Street Merchants supplying cookies at their locations along Main Street.
  • In cooperation with Prenger Foods, we ran another ‘Grocery Grab’ event just before Thanksgiving, which brought in nearly $200 and was a fun community event.
  • A national ‘Paul Bruhn Grant’ from the federal government was awarded to our State Main Street program. Once they share application information, we’ll promote it to the Main Street District, which the hope of winning some sub-grants for historic building preservation.
  • In April, Travis Howell joined the the Downtown Marceline Foundation Board of Directors.
Join the 1888 Crew | Downtown Marceline Foundation
  • DMF launched the ‘1888 Crew’ recurring donation campaign, to work on sustainable fundraising.
  • We attended a Maximize Northwest Missouri event to strengthen our connection to the region, develop relationships with other similarly focused organizations, and to learn more ways to help Main Street USA.
  • In December, Paula Wright accepted a position as a new member of the Downtown Marceline Foundation Board of Directors.
  • The annual ‘Patriotic Pie War’ brought another 13 bakers and their scrumptious homemade pies to auction. The online auction is always fun and exciting, and people are often jealous of the winning bidders.
  • We auctioned a “Wagon of Fun” filled with games for groups, in a retro American Flyer red wagon.


“The goal of the Promotions Committee is to project a positive, unified image that identifies downtown as a public gathering place. Revitalization programs market the district and the community through a series of targeted activities that include development of the downtown image; a variety of communication methods using press releases, newsletters and other media messages; special events and festivals that highlight the local culture, art, music, dance and traditions that give each community its unique identity.”

  • Downtown Marceline Foundation’s annual ‘Elves on the Shelves’ promotion brings children (and their families) into participating Main Street merchants. The kids enjoy searching for the elves, and the families are introduced to Main Street businesses they may not have visited before. 111 children found all of the elves and were entered into a drawing for M.A.D. money.
  • Marceline won a promotional package from the Missouri Humanities’ “Small Town Showcase” program. MH will come to Marceline in 2024 to film and interview locals to help promote our small town through social posts, videos, and a feature podcast.
Wine and Art Stroll |
  • Our annual Wine & Art Stroll had about 400 attendees in 2023, and raised funds to support DMF’s ongoing programs.
  • We collaborated with the Marceline Area Chamber of Commerce to promote Marceline on KTVO, and at Christmas on Carter Media.
  • The Downtown Marceline Foundation co-sponsored ‘Main Street Cruise Nights’ with the Marceline Police Department. One Saturday evening of each month (in the summer) as many as 25 cars came to Main Street USA to cruise, park, shop, and visit.
  • The “Hop to Shop” event around Easter focused on promoting the “Shop Local” message, as did the “Small Business Saturday” goodie bags we created and distributed with items donated by American Express.
  • In 2022 DMF worked with the Marceline Carnegie Library to push along a project to digitize many years worth of Marceline newspapers. In 2023 the SHSMO (State Historical Society of MO) made those papers available through Years of Marceline (and area) history are now easily searchable online. Home users can subscribe to the service, or can get free access by going to the Marceline Carnegie Library.
  • We continue to update the printed, and online version of the ‘Marceline Dining, Shopping and Lodging Guide’, and make them available to area vacation rentals and businesses where visitors and locals would find them useful.
  • We worked with a neighboring town Brunswick, MO for the “Two Towns, Twice the Fun Shopping Road Trip”, to cross-promote businesses in each town to the residents of both towns.
  • We took over running the annual Marceline Car Show, which celebrated it’s 30th year.
  • We began sending out a monthly email to Main Street Merchants called the “Main Street Minute” to help keep them apprised of upcoming events, possible grants, and other (hopefully) useful information.
  • Once again, the Downtown Marceline Foundation participated in the Homecoming Parade by putting together a float to cheer for Marceline High School in the big game.


“The Design Committee’s goal is to enhance the visual attractiveness of downtown. This includes technical assistance and encouragement to building owners toward the restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures, improved streetscape features, street and alley cleanup, colorful banners, and landscaping. Attention must be paid to safe and efficient infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and the appearance of storefronts, signs, street lights, window displays, and graphic materials. Design improvements should be developed through a public-private partnership by reinvestment of public and private dollars in downtown.”

  • The committee decorated two large windows next to Los Chimas Mexican Restaurant to help beautify Main Street.
  • The Downtown Marceline Foundation, in cooperation with the City of Marceline, implemented the “Flag pole hole” project in 2023. The City drilled holes in front of participating businesses on Main Street, and inserted metal inserts to protect the concrete, which hold the feather flags that promote open businesses. Almost all of the holes have been drilled, which has removed the sandbag bases that were trip hazards and generally unattractive.
  • In November, Buckaroos and Ballerinas opened, bringing more retail to Main Street USA.
Coke Wall Mural Donation | Downtown Marceline Foundation

Economic Vitality Committee

“The EV Committee analyzes current market forces to develop long-term solutions; develops a business recruitment program while strengthening the competitiveness of existing merchants and service businesses. One goal of recruitment is to fill vacant spaces while diversifying the economic base. The committee works toward creatively converting unused space for new uses, and works closely with the Design Committee to seek appropriate solutions for historic commercial buildings that will ensure their continued occupancy, maintenance and preservation.”

  • Members of the “Marketing Marceline Committee” are involved with other businesses and individuals in town to help develop an overall marketing plan to help promote the pool, the restaurants, and all of the amenities Marceline has to offer.
  • The Downtown Marceline Foundation has been working with Amtrak since 2022 to try and get Amtrak to stop in Marceline once again. No decision has been made yet, but the process is moving forward at Amtrak.
2023 Marceline Small Business and Entrepreneur Workshop | Downtown Marceline Foundation