By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News
After not one, but two postponements because of rain, area businesses gathered in Central Park Tuesday, July 3 for Main Street Mt. Pleasant?s second annual Thanks with Franks, serving free hot dogs with a twist.
Thanks with Franks ? an event designed to thank residents for frequenting local businesses, stores and restaurants ? was originally scheduled for June 19, rescheduled for June 26 and rescheduled yet again for July 3 because of inclement weather.
While Sam Riepe, of the Vintage Raven, said he hoped Thanks with Franks reconnected area businesses with customers following the late spring construction that closed off South Jefferson Street, that wasn?t the point of the evening.
?What?s more important to me is people get reacquainted with restaurants and businesses they didn?t know are downtown,? Riepe said, pointing to the newly opened Central Park Coffee Company on South Main Street.
Tina Hill, of Central Park Coffee Company, was serving the unique version of franks in the park ? a homemade smoked Gouda mac and cheese with hot dogs.
Hill said that she made her distinctive dish for the event to get the name of her new coffee shop out and continue being involved in community activities. ?It?s a good way to advertise,? she said.
Heather Liechty with Your Dream Home and Furniture came up with another twist on the hot dog. ?Nacho normal hot dogs from nacho normal furniture store,? Liechty said, whose hot dogs were served in taco shells instead of hot dog buns with several choices of salsa.
Breadeaux Pizza served hot dogs wrapped in their classic pizza dough with cheese and sauce stuffed in the center. The Mt. Pleasant News set up a hot dog stand as well, serving hot dogs wrapped in bacon with mango salsa in place of ketchup and mustard.
Other businesses took a more conservative approach, opting for the classic grilled hot dog. Shelly Masterson, with 5 Star Community Credit Union, served hot dogs Tuesday to get more involved downtown and give back to the community. David Black with AllenMitchellCPAs, serving chili dogs, said it was a first go around for the company that came to Mt. Pleasant in October 2017.
Rose Bohnenkamp with HCI Hospice said they wanted the community to realize they?re in the area. Bohnenkamp, described by her co-worker as a master griller with the perfect grill marks on their hot dogs, commented on the beautiful evening after the twice rained out event.
While not a business, nonprofit 100+ Women Who Care served hot dogs donated to them by one of their members to raise awareness of their nonprofit in the community. 100+ Women Who Care meet four times a year and ask for donations at each event to raise money for another local nonprofit.
Main Street Mt. Pleasant Director Lisa Oetken said that Thanks with Franks was conceptualized last year to also draw attention to Market on Main, which is every Tuesday during the summer and was revived last summer after a brief hiatus.
?We have a beautiful park and it is a lot cooler here,? Oetken said under the shade of the trees in Central Park. ?Each event brings a different crowd.?
Oetken hopes events like Thanks with Franks will draw in families and introduce them to the fresh vegetables being sold each Tuesday at the market, adding that next week a vendor will be selling peaches and strawberries.