Downtown Monroe opens its heart

Monroe. The Downtown Revitalization Committee celebrated Valentine’s Day with a walkout where residents got to mingle, visit local businesses and - at least for 26 people - win prizes.

| 16 Feb 2021 | 03:08

Love was certainly in the air this Valentine’s weekend. The Monroe Downtown Revitalization Committee hung 250 hearts in the trees along Lake Street. Decorative boxes were placed in the local businesses and each heart represented a chance to win a generous prize.

There were 26 lucky winners of this event, which was free to the public.

“We went to the Village on Saturday and had a nice walkabout, met a few new people, shop owners and workers – people we’ve never spoken to before,” Karen Mengaziol of Monroe said. “We dropped a few hearts into boxes and Voila! Turns out we won a gift certificate from Angelo’s. A really nice effort, congratulations on the work. And we met a bunch of neighbors we never knew before but will make an effort to see again.”

Many of the downtown businesses participated in this event, including Javajo’s Coffee Bar, By George Salon, Artyxs Pastries & Catering, Venus & Venom, The Hair Bar, The Depot Cigar & Candle Shop, Planet Pizza, LoveBites Café, Amity Beauty, Plum House, Amendola’s, Angelo’s Trattoria, Orange County School of Dance, Haile Wine & Spirits and Monroe Jewelers.

The Monroe Downtown Revitalization Committee is a grassroots volunteer group that formed in 2019 with the intent of bringing back a vibrant, thriving downtown business district.

To learn more about the committee’s efforts, you can follow their Facebook page Monroe Downtown Revitalization, email or go to the website

This article and photos were provided by Cristina Kiesel, the chairperson of the Monroe Downtown Revitalization Committee.