Perryville Promenade on Thursday includes 16 merchants 

Published 7:01 am Saturday, April 14, 2018

Chamber plans to be more inclusive after hearing business owners say the town was ‘an afterthought’

Perryville merchants have captured the attention of the Boyle County Chamber of Commerce and a public event has been planned for them to be introduced to everyone in the area.

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For the first time ever, the chamber is having its monthly Business After Hours event at 16 downtown Perryville businesses on April 19. 

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the public is invited to “Perryville Promenade” where they can visit each participating business and enter to win several prizes, said former chamber interim director Myrna Miller.

Miller said when she and several other organization representatives from Danville recently attended a Perryville city council meeting, the gist of comments made was, “We feel left out. We feel like Danville gets all the attention for everything and we’re just an afterthought.”

So, the chamber has taken action to help remedy the situation and will actively continue supporting Perryville businesses, Miller said.

David Walden, owner of Walden Funeral Home in Perryville, said he was the last chamber member in Perryville and was considering dropping out too because, “It didn’t do me any good.”

He said be felt the business organization only cared about Danville businesses and not any of those outside of the city limits.

When news got back to the chamber, Walden said Miller and Vicki Goode, executive director of Main Street Perryville, paid him a visit to discuss his frustration.

“We had a good long talk and they assured me they wanted to try and see that change,” Walden said. “I’m really pleased … because Perryville has so much to offer.”

Tabbitha Dunaway, owner of Charlie’s of Perryville, selling consignment prom, pageant and wedding gowns, said she was another business owner who enthusiastically encouraged the chamber to include her historic town’s businesses when they promote Boyle County.

Dunaway said there are so many new little businesses in town, and so many new things coming. 

Dunaway said was excited for Danville residents to come and see “our hidden treasure.” 

Most other downtown business owners also decided to join the chamber and they want to be involved and active with the organization too, Walden said.

So, the Perryville Promenade has been organized to showcase new chamber members in Perryville in a unique way. Since the 16 businesses are within walking distance of each other, people are invited to stroll to each one, check out what they offer, visit with friends, enter to win prizes, enjoy refreshments and meet back at the Perryville Jamboree where more refreshments will be served and networking will be encouraged, Miller said. “We want it to be really big and memorable.”

Virginia Gibson, owner of Flowers by EJ, will have her doors open during the promenade. She said it’s going to be a good way for visitors from Danville to see how unique her shop is.

“I think it’s a great idea,” to have Business After Hours in Perryville, Gibson said. She’s been in the flower business since 2004 and operates a greenhouse. She opened her retail flower shop a year ago this month, and having more people become familiar with what she can do will be beneficial to her.

Walden said during the Perryville Promenade, his funeral home will be open and feature a small art display advertising the Gathering Artists art show and reception to be held at the business later this spring.

He said most artists don’t have a gallery to show their work, and he thinks a funeral home is the perfect solution. He said hundreds of people come to pay their respects at a funeral, so what better place for them to see original art.

Walden said business owners in their small town are always talking and shopping amongst themselves so they are very excited to have new people come to Perryville and see what’s there.

“We need to get other Danville people, the whole Boyle County, to see what Perryville has to offer. That’s our job (the chamber) and that’s our intention, to get people down there,” Miller said. 

She said since the chamber realizes Perryville wants to be actively involved, they will be coming up with more ways to include the town, such as promoting the opening of the Opera House and Visitors Center once renovations are complete.

Miller said, “It was hurtful we couldn’t provide what they need.” But now, “It’s been fun to work with people who are so excited and willing, so I want to make sure this event does go really well.”

Miller said she also spoke with Robby Mayes, who is chairman of the Main Street Perryville Board. 

She said she got a phone call from him after he found out about the plans, he cautioned her. “He said, ‘Please don’t do it once and leave. Please let us be a part, all of the time — please include Perryville. Don’t come in and be a flash in the pan with this one event, and leave.’” 

Miller said, “I took that to heart.” 


The Perryville Promenade will be 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 in downtown Perryville. 


Perryville members of the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce included in the Perryville Promenade are:

• Bluegrass Community Bank

• Bluegrass Gifts and Boutique

• Chaplin River Catering

• Charlie’s

• Farmers National Bank

• Flowers by EJ

• Hometown Kids

• Laura Leigh Photography

• The Lodge

• Perryville Furniture Outlet

• Perryville Jamboree

• Perryville Party Rentals

• Reynolds Realty and Auction

• S&A Furniture

• Walden Funeral Home

• Wilder’s Flower Basket