Main Street at Lakewood Ranch helped more than 60 area non-profits raise more than $800,000 in 2016. The events ranged from car shows to parades, and from bike races to the monthly “Music on Main” concert series.
Main Street has been the hub of community activity since it opened in 2005. Annual favorites include the Memorial Day Parade, the Jingle 5K for the Arthritis Foundation, BooFest, and Holidays Around the Ranch.
Monthly, thousands come to enjoy Music on Main, which started in 2006 and became a fixture with its free entertainment, family activities, and representatives of select charities pouring beers to earn money for their organizations.
Records have only been kept since 2012, according to Main Street Manager Amanda Zipperer, but she estimates the total earned is well over $5 million. During the past five years alone, Main Street special events helped charities raise $3,530,726, including $591,284.41 in 2012; $671,257.14 in 2013; $709,956.86 in 2014; $753,844 in 2015; and $804,385 in 2016.
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“We host events to bring visibility not only to the street and merchants but to the entire Lakewood Ranch community,” Zipperer said. “Our events have a social and economic impact – not only do we help develop a sense of community but we help raise money for a lot of great charities.”
More than 120 community events are planned for 2017.