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Featuring The Friendly City on Main Street America: Intern Kate’s Recap on a Wonderful Day Downtown

August 5, 2021 by Kate Harwood

From the friendly faces to the kind hospitality, the Main Street America Instagram takeover was a day I will never forget.  

On Tuesday, July 13, I was selected for Main Street America’s National Takeover. For 14 hours, I covered the downtown Harrisonburg community, featuring restaurants, businesses, shops, museums, and galleries. From all my amazing interactions, my heart is completely filled with love for the downtown Harrisonburg community.  

When I first received the email from Main Street America, I was absolutely thrilled! I couldn’t believe it! I texted my boss, Emily, while she was on vacation because I was that excited. I knew that my content was going to center on the downtown community and the businesses located downtown! 

Some of my favorite memories: 

  • Literally meeting all the amazing people
  • Watching the smiles on people’s faces as they realized their business would be featured on a national organization’s Instagram page 
  • Getting to see Harrisonburg from a new perspective, I felt like a tourist in my own city 
  • Interacting with all the business owners throughout the day 
  • Trying all the delicious food 
  • Getting to explore parts of Harrisonburg I have never been in before! 

I would like to thank: 

  • Emily, Andrea, Julie, Erin, and Jennifer; your dedication to Harrisonburg is inspiring and I am so blessed that I get to work with a powerhouse team of women who advocate for the downtown community of Harrisonburg. I am inspired by the leadership of HDR. I am so grateful for this awesome internship. Thank you so much. 
  • Abby Armato from Main Street America for the opportunity to host MSA’s first takeover!
  • All the businesses that participated in the takeover!!! I couldn’t have done it without you

I would especially like to thank the Harrisonburg community and the @downtownharrisonburg Instagram followers for their following throughout the day! Your generosity, hospitality, and dedication to Harrisonburg is truly inspirational. Your enthusiasm was palpable over the Instagram stories. Thank you so much. This day would not have been possible without you. 

When I visited Mary Yoder at Dart Resale, she and I struck up a conversation about how much we love the downtown Harrisonburg community. She mentioned that she has teared up thinking about how grateful she is to be located downtown. 

When I put my feet up and logged out of the Main Street America Instagram account, I started to tear up thinking about the day. I got to interact with an amazing community of individuals who are enthusiastic about serving the downtown Harrisonburg community. Harrisonburg is filled with incredible people and  I am so blessed to intern for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, living in Harrisonburg for the summer, and get to experience the wonderful people who make Harrisonburg friendly by nature. I went to bed, sweaty and tired; but extremely grateful for the Downtown Harrisonburg community. 

I am so grateful. My heart is full. I keep watching the videos of the takeover because they bring me that much joy. Thank you, Harrisonburg. 

It’s always better in the ‘burg 


Intern Kate 

Businesses featured in the Takeover:

The Perch Workspace at Magpie

Dart Resale & Trade

Arts Council of the Valley and Smith House Galleries

Wilson Downtown Gallery and Harrisonburg Homes Team at Kline May Realty

Rocktown Yarn

Explore More Discovery Museum

Bella Gelato Bakery

With Simplicity


Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn

Virginia Quilt Museum

Hugo Kohl Jewelry

Horizon Gifts

Rocktown Kitchen

OASIS Fine Art and Craft

Bella Luna 


Latin’s Flavor

Pale Fire Brewing Co.

Sage Bird Ciderworks

The Lady Jane

Clementine Cafe