After 22 years of breathing life back into downtown Tehachapi, Main Street Tehachapi has taken its last breath and is looking for good homes for its annual events.
Established in 1999, Main Street has already entered into an agreement with the city of Tehachapi to take over its largest endeavor, the Farmers Market. But the fate of the beloved Trunk or Treat and annual wine walks Main Street produced each year hang in the air.
"Recently, the board of directors decided to dissolve it, so Main Street Tehachapi won't be in existence anymore," Charles White, treasurer and one of the nonprofit's original members, said last week.
According to White, the board's decision to let go and turn over the reins to others was based primarily on the lack of volunteers to help run the organization.
"There wasn't as much interest from the downtown businesses and property owners to keep it going, and we had a hard time recruiting board members," White said. "In addition to that, with the whole COVID thing, we haven't been able to do any events other than the Farmers Market."
Since Main Street Tehachapi relied on event revenue to run operations, the board had no choice but to shut it down.
White said the board voted to turn over the Farmers Market to the city of Tehachapi.
"We wanted to keep Farmers Market going because it was one of our most popular events," White said.
On Feb. 1, the Tehachapi City Council voted unanimously to accept the Tehachapi Farmers Market summer event from the organization.
According to a city news release, the Tehachapi Farmers Market will be coordinated through City Hall and logistical support will continue with its public works and police departments.
City Manager Greg Garrett said it was a sad day when he learned MST planned to dissolve.
"They tried to keep downtown healthy," Garrett said.
Formerly operated by the city of Tehachapi, Garrett said resuming the Farmers Market would be "an easy transfer."
"I can assure that the Farmers Market will be just as good as it was," the city manager said.
This year, the Farmers Market will be held Thursday starting June 3 through Sept. 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. on Green Street in downtown Tehachapi.
“I think this is a fantastic event and I’m grateful that this partnership is in place to seamlessly transition it,” wrote Councilwoman Christina Scrivner.
As for MST's other popular events, White said he is looking for good, nonprofit homes to assume them.
"When we started Trunk or Treat, it was like the main event in town... It is available if somebody wants to do it," he said.
White is also looking for a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization to take over its annual wine walks.
"I'm sad to see it end because we were able to raise a fair amount of money to do improvements to the downtown area, and we also put on these events throughout the years that brought people into downtown, amenities that were good for the community," White said.
For more information on Main Street Tehachapi's events, call Charles White at 972-0958.
For more information on the upcoming Farmers Market, call Marianna Gutierrez, administrative assistant at City Hall and market manager at 822-2200, ext 102.