by Nan Husid
Attention residents… Hoboken is about to become “activated”!
Main Street Pops, a pop-up programming company whose mission is to energize towns and build community, was recently launched by three local Hoboken women who plan to reimagine what Main Street means in the age of Amazon, the iphone and streaming services. Main Street USA has always been the heart of any community, defining a town’s unique character. Strolling down Main Street (or in our case, Washington Street), was where neighbors used to catch up, connect and become a community.
This power trio plans to recreate this lost feeling of togetherness by activating unused spaces all over Hoboken to host hyper-local events designed to showcase small businesses, foster connections and boost the local economy.
Main Street Pops is the vision of long time local residents and community activists Zabrina Stoffel, Tracy Gavant and Shan Gettens. Between them, they have extensive sales, marketing and event experience, and are the force behind many community efforts to improve the quality of life in Hoboken. Their past efforts have included Project Play, that fueled replacement of Hoboken’s old and dangerous playgrounds, Rummage & Ruffage, a flea and farmers market that helped repair the iconic Holy Innocents Church, and raising funds to build a permanent space uptown for Mile Square Theatre, Hudson County’s leading professional regional theatre.
These ladies are very passionate about our town, but grew increasingly frustrated by seeing all of the empty storefronts along Washington Street, as well as the Amazon boxes piled up everywhere on recycling days. Main Street Pops was born out of a desire to bring the benefits of Main Street- connection, shared experiences, town pride- back and to get people off of their couches and interacting with each other again.
Main Street Pops will officially launch this Holiday Season with three activations from November 29- December 24th. They have partnered with local property owner and restaurateur behind Antique Bar & Bakery, Joe Castelo to re-energize the old Santander bank space at 86 River Street with an Art Market in conjunction with Aaron Boucher from Field Colony each weekend and a Holiday Food & Artisanal Market on Tuesdays. They’ve also collaborated with Greg Dell’Aquila to transform a ground floor office suite at the Hoboken Business Center at 50 Harrison Street into an interactive Winter Wonderland for their Holiday Photo Experience, featuring seven fun and festive holiday settings to pose in that are perfect for creating unique family holiday cards, selfies and instagrammable moments.
There are plans for many other immersive experiences and local shopping events throughout Hoboken in the works for next year, so stay tuned… we can’t wait to see what will pop up next.
If you are or know a maker/ doer or local artist that might be interested in these inaugural events, there are a few spots still available!