I am Kaitlyn Shields, a current senior at James Madison University who will be interning with Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance for the next few months! I currently live in downtown, so I am very excited to be writing about this community that has welcomed me with open arms.
Even though I have only lived downtown for a short while, I have been attending James Madison University since Fall 2010. During this time, I have gotten to know parts of the community and I look forward to more time spent learning about Harrisonburg’s downtown district. You can most often find me hanging out with friends at Jack Brown’s on a Friday night, shopping for new trendy outfits at Bluetique and The Yellow Button, or grabbing breakfast at The Little Grill with my parents when they come to visit.
I will admit it took time for me to wander out of the JMU bubble after living on campus for 2 years, but now I can see I was missing out on so many things. I remember walking downtown for the first time and thinking “I didn’t even know all of this existed!” I was amazed by how friendly and inviting the local shop and restaurant owners/employees were to me when I walked into their establishments. They made me feel like a part of the community.
I have eaten at local restaurants, attended events such as the Holiday Parade, and shopped downtown, so I would love nothing more than to help promote these offerings and others to JMU students and Harrisonburg residents. Downtown is amazing and a place that everyone should visit often! If I could go back and talk to my freshman self, I would tell myself to definitely see what downtown Harrisonburg has to offer since I only get to enjoy its perks for a short amount of time.
It’s my hope that, through writing for this blog, I will be able to share with all of you the many great things going on in downtown Harrisonburg and introduce you to some events, places, and people you may not have heard about before.
I can’t wait to get to know you and share the wonders of downtown Harrisonburg!
Kaitlyn Shields is the HDR Promotions & Social Media Intern for Fall 2013 and a senior Organizational Communication major and Writing & Rhetoric Minor at James Madison University.