New group looks to promote downtown Paola

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A new group called Discover Historic Paola is working to promote downtown Paola. Members currently are working to take over organization of the Paola Farmers Market.

PAOLA — A group of Paola business owners and community members have joined forces in an effort to promote Park Square and the activities that take place on and around it.

Renee Bowman, who teaches third grade at Sunflower Elementary and helps her husband Justin operate the Bull Creek BBQ food truck, unveiled the new group to Paola City Council members during their April meeting.

The group is called Discover Historic Paola, and Bowman said one of the first main projects is helping with the Paola Farmers Market.

Debbie Duncan and Vickie Vetter-Scruggs have worked together to organize the market since it was revived in 2010, but Bowman said they are now looking to hand the reins over to the new downtown group following this year’s market, which opens Saturday, May 18.

Bowman said not a lot has changed for this year’s market, except the hours, which will be from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the addition of “makers” who will feature their products in the afternoon hours once most of the farmers have wrapped up their sales.

Bowman said the goal is to feature more children’s activities during the market, with some possibilities being scavenger hunts, water fights and sidewalk chalk competitions.

And the Bowmans plan to have their food truck set up in a nearby city parking lot during the farmers market, offering farm fresh eggs for breakfast courtesy of Rocking Goat Farms.

She said it helps that there is not one or two main people in the group responsible for everything. Instead, the group members plan to share planning responsibilities.

Some of the businesses involved in the group include Fire Lake Soapery, JK Custom Communications, Netherfield Natural Farm and Whispering Elm Farm. Members continue to meet weekly.

Community members can learn more about the group by visiting the Discover Historic Paola Facebook page.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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