Community Spotlight: Downtown Frederick Partnership

Welcome to the first post in our new Community Spotlight feature. We’ll share interviews with the remarkable individuals and organizations shaping our community’s future. We hope you join us in celebrating and amplifying their stories. 

In this post, discover what makes Frederick a vibrant community for living and thriving in business through insights from Downtown Frederick Partnership. Learn about the collaborative spirit, cultural richness, and exciting initiatives that shape the city’s character.

What do you think makes Frederick a great place to live and do business?

The people – We are so fortunate to live in a place with so many great people who care about their community and contribute their time, energy and support to make it even better. Frederick is such a collaborative, creative and supportive community. There are always unique events happening, so you can find something to do every day of the week.

What inspired the founding of Downtown Frederick Partnership, and how has it evolved since its inception in 1990?

In 1990, downtown business owners gathered together with residents and City officials to launch the organization that is known today as Downtown Frederick Partnership. Their work to create this organization was built on the efforts of previous volunteer committees working towards an improved downtown. Since 1990, the organization has been officially designated as a Main Street organization, grown to four full time staff, added an Ambassador Program, planned hundreds of events and benefited from tens of thousands of volunteer hours.

Are there any upcoming projects or long-term goals Downtown Frederick Partnership is particularly excited about?

The Partnership has some big projects in the works- renovations to the Fountain Park at Market and Seventh Streets as well as planning for improvements to the streetscape. Both projects are multi year efforts to make Downtown Frederick an even better place to live.

What role do arts and culture play in Downtown Frederick’s vibrancy, and how does Downtown Frederick Partnership promote and celebrate the creative community?

The arts are critical to downtown’s vibrancy – adding that special something that is akin to the energy of our historic buildings – something unique, special; something only found here. It is this energy and uniqueness that attracts residents, businesses and visitors to come to Downtown Frederick and experience all it has to offer.

How important is Alive @ Five in supporting Downtown Partnership’s initiatives?

Alive @ Five is what allows us to do all of the other incredible work that we do! It is the Partnership’s largest fundraiser of the year. All proceeds are reinvested back into the downtown community through the Partnership’s work. This summer-long fundraising event would not be possible without the amazing sponsors and 300+ volunteers that dedicate their time all season. In 2023, close to 1,100 volunteer shifts were recorded, making this truly a community run event.

Is there a particularly memorable moment from a past Alive @ Five event that encapsulates Downtown Frederick’s spirit?

Recently, we’ve been able to celebrate major milestones of local bands, with this year marking the 20th season of Alive @ Five! And our largest fundraiser only continues to grow… Last year brought record breaking numbers averaging 977 happy hour goers every Thursday. Which really goes to show how much the Downtown Frederick community really values their own.

What can attendees expect from this year’s Alive @ Five, and how can people get involved? 

This year, 14 of the 21 bands are brand new to Alive @ Five. We have some amazing musicians on the lineup, so even if it’s a genre that you don’t normally listen to, you’ll be able to appreciate the musical talent. Sing along to the classics and put some new originals on your summer playlist! Each week, there are more than 50 volunteers that help us pull off the magic of Alive @ Five. Sign up to work alongside some of the coolest community members at As we like to say, See You on the Creek!

Bonus: What advice would you give to people who want to get more involved in the Frederick community?

Just do it! If there is a particular event you love going to, initiative you love supporting, or a project you’ve seen implemented that you find impressive – figure out what organization is responsible for it and reach out to see how you can get involved. Most nonprofit organizations have ways that you can donate your time or talent, so it doesn’t always have to be money (though that helps too!)

As we conclude this Community Spotlight, we want to thank our friends at Downtown Frederick Partnership for generously sharing their story with us. If you found this interview inspiring, pass it along to others who might be interested in learning more about Downtown Partnership’s fantastic work. 

LSWG is a proud sponsor of Alive @ Five 2024, which runs May 9th – October 3rd, every Thursday from 5-8 p.m. in the Carroll Creek Amphitheater. Mark your calendars! Stay tuned for more in this series and, in the meantime, let’s stay connected.

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