Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Harvest Festival Registration Open

Registration for the booth space at the Harvest Festival is now open to the general public. Register hereThe Franklin Downtown Partnership is excited to host the Harvest Festival in downtown Franklin on Sat., Oct. 1 from noon to 5 p.m.., with a rain date of Sun., Oct. 2. Please save the date to come out and enjoy this family fun, community event that will feature local businesses, entertainment, foods from local restaurants, kid crafts and activities, shop specials, and arts and crafts. 




Sunday, July 31, 2022

Harvest Festival Oct. 1

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is excited to host the Harvest Festival in downtown Franklin on Sat., Oct. 1 from noon to 5 p.m.., with a rain date of Sun., Oct. 2. Please save the date to come out and enjoy this family fun, community event that will feature local businesses, entertainment, foods from local restaurants, kid crafts and activities, shop specials, and arts and crafts. FDP members can register for a free booth space now. Non-members can register beginning Aug. 10. The link for non-member registration will be published on Aug. 10.



Monday, June 20, 2022

Ladybug Cultural and Historical Trail Map

In 1974, a second-grade class from John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Franklin, MA, decided Massachusetts needed an official state insect. The students, and their teacher, Ms. Palma Johnson, selected the ladybug as their choice for the state insect.


The students learned how their proposal for a state insect could become a law. On March 20, 1974, dressed in their finest ladybug attire, the students went to the State House to support their Ladybug Bill. A month later, on April 17, 1974, Governor Francis W. Sargent signed the bill that made the ladybug the state insect of Massachusetts.


On the 40th anniversary of this achievement, the Franklin Cultural Council and The Rotary Club advanced a public art project in honor of the Kennedy Elementary second grade class, their teacher, and the Ladybug. The art project involved the participation of artists and businesses in the creation of 25, two-feet tall, fiberglass Ladybugs. Over time, the Ladybug sculptures were installed at public buildings, businesses and private residences.


In 2019, the Franklin Downtown Partnership (FDP) considered gathering the Ladybugs in downtown Franklin, the heart of Franklin’s Cultural District. They envisioned a trail that would feature 17 of the original Ladybug sculptures, several murals, and three bronze statues. Named the Ladybug Cultural and Historical Trail, visitors and residents would connect with Franklin’s culture and history while shopping, dining, and visiting downtown. In 2021, the FDP formed a committee to develop the project. The FDP unveiled the Ladybug Trail as its Strawberry Stroll on June 10, 2022.


The 2021 Ladybug Trail Committee is chaired by FDP Executive Director Lisa Piana and includes Pandora Carlucci (FDP Board & Franklin Cultural District Committee), Jane Curran (FDP Founding Member), Melanie Hamblen (FDP & Town Council member), Eileen Mason (FDP & Beautification Committee Chair), Mary Olson (FDP & Historical Commission Chair), Roberta Trahan (FDP Executive Board & Franklin Cultural District Committee), Beth Simon (FDP & 2014 Ladybug Manager), and Claire Griffin (Cultural Council 2014 Ladybug Manager).




Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Friday, May 20, 2022

Beautification Day May 21

Volunteers are needed for the Franklin Downtown Partnership and Franklin Garden Club's annual Beautification Day in downtown Franklin and the Town Common on the morning of Saturday, May 21. If you can volunteer, please email Beautification Chair Eileen Mason.

We are very thankful for Eileen Mason who has spearheaded the beautification efforts for many years. Additionally, we are grateful for the financial support of the beautification sponsors.

  • Platinum sponsors are: Camford Property Group; Doherty, Dugan, Cannon, Raymond and Weil, P.C.; Law Offices of Roche & Roche, P.C.; PhysicianOne Urgent Care; Eileen Mason of RE/MAX Executive Realty; Middlesex Savings; and RI Motorsports and Detail LLC.
  • Gold sponsors are: Dean Bank; D.G. Ranieri Real Estate; Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios; and Goldfish Swim School. 
  • Silver sponsors are: Fenton Financial Group; Keefe Insurance Agency; and Vet Med Pet Supplies.
  • Bronze sponsor is Safford Insurance.


Monday, April 25, 2022

Save the Date for June 10 Strawberry Stroll

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is currently organizing its annual Strawberry Stroll, set for Friday, June 10, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Franklin. The rain date will be Saturday, June 11 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

During the Stroll, the Partnership will unveil the Ladybug Cultural and Historical Trail. The Trail uses ladybug sculptures to tie approximately 25 historical and cultural sites together in downtown Franklin.


Also during the Strawberry Stroll, Dean Bank will host “Dancing on Dean” which will feature two local bands on a bandstand at the intersection of Main Street and Dean Avenue. Delicious strawberry shortcakes provided by Dean Bank and Dean College will be sold in front of Dean Bank.


“We are thrilled to welcome the Strawberry Stroll back after a two-year absence because of the pandemic,” said Partnership Executive Director Lisa Piana. “We are looking forward to kicking off the summer season with this fun event.”


Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For information about sponsorships, contact the Partnership office at downtown.franklin@yahoo.com.




Beautification Day May 21

Volunteers are needed for the Franklin Downtown Partnership and Franklin Garden Club's annual Beautification Day in downtown Franklin and the Town Common on the morning of Saturday, May 21.

Dozens of volunteers are needed to help plant red, white and blue flowers on the downtown bridges and in barrels in front of businesses. Volunteers with trucks are also needed to help pick up trays of flowers at Fairmount Fruit Farm, 887 Lincoln St., Franklin. Community service hours are available to students needing volunteer opportunities.

If you can volunteer, please email Beautification Chair Eileen Mason at emason4234@gmail.com.

We appreciate the support of these sponsors who make the beautification efforts in the downtown Franklin possible. Platinum sponsors are Chaffee Property Group, Inc., Doherty, Dugan, Cannon, Raymond & Weil, P.C., RI Motorsports and Detail, and Eileen Mason of ReMax Real Estate. Gold sponsors are D.G. Ranieri Real Estate, Dean Bank, and Encore Music Academy And Recording Studios. The silver sponsor is Safford Insurance.


Monday, April 4, 2022

April General Meeting

The next general meeting of the Franklin Downtown Partnership will be held April 7 at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom. Please contact the FDP office for the Zoom link.




Saturday, March 12, 2022

Franklin Downtown Has a Business Growth Spurt

As published in Franklin Local Pages

By J.D. O’Gara

Lisa Piana, Director of the Franklin Downtown Partnership, says she is “thrilled” at what she is calling a “business boon” in the heart of Franklin. In fact, six new businesses call downtown Franklin home, and with a new Ladybug Cultural and Historical Trail, and new alleyway murals, there is a lot to discover in downtown Franklin!

Established to foster greater vitality in the downtown commercial district, the Franklin Downtown Partnership (FDP) has been planning for this moment of tremendous growth in the downtown for the 20 years it has been in existence, says Piana. “Over these many years, the FDP has been diligently putting in the infrastructure, working with town officials, improving the streetscape, meeting with builders, and hosting downtown events,” she writes.

Lily Riviera, Marketing and Communications Specialist for the Town of Franklin, also attributes the growth to a few initiatives the town of Franklin took to make the community welcoming to business. Some of the new businesses, in fact were part of the Pop-Up Shop grant initiative.

“I think it was a good way for people to get integrated into the community,” says Rivera. 

Rivera notes that her predecessor, in fact, created a business guide to help opening businesses in Franklin get to know not only the community, but the various steps they must take to establish their business of preference in the town. 

“Obviously, opening a business, there are a lot of different steps,” says Rivera. “Anne Marie broke down zoning and more, in a simplified way, guiding them through a very layered process. That’s something that’s been a resource.”

Rivera also points out that, following a market study the town did with the MAPC, Franklin conducted Business Listening Sessions during the pandemic, to determine how best to help local business thrive. That helped steer the Pop-Up Shop grant initiative, and now the town is working on a Franklin for All study with the MAPC, to more clearly establish a vision for the downtown center and adjust zoning toward this effort. This work helps in the long run, she says. The public is invited to take part in a forum to be conducted in Town Council chambers at 7 p.m. on March 7th. 

“These are good tools for businesses to use,” says Rivera. “As a business owner, you need to look at ...how unique your business proposal is in the town you’re going to operate in. If you’re a coffee shop in a town with a lot of coffee shops, it’s going to be harder for you.”

The new businesses located in the Franklin downtown area include: 

• Birchwood Bakery and Kitchen, 17 E. Central St., Franklin, offers breads, salads, baked goods, sandwiches, yogurt parfaits and more.

• Briller Boutique, 70 E. Central St., Franklin, will be opening soon and will sell women’s clothing and accessories. 

• Escape Into Fiction, 12 Main St., Franklin, sells a variety of fictional books.

• Greco Design Co., 2A Main St., Franklin, offers unique home decor items and handmade gifts.

• I Have Coins and Collectibles, 15 Main St., Franklin, carries coins, Pok√©mon cards, comic books, Star Wars and other collectibles, as well as offers free appraisals. 

• Zuzu’s Petals & Cafe, 19 Dean Ave., Franklin, is a full-service florist and offers a variety of gift items.

“We really encourage residents to stroll the downtown and appreciate all it has to offer,” said Lisa Piana, executive director of the FDP. “Small businesses add so much to our community. We encourage residents to support Franklin businesses and shop local whenever possible.”

Escape Into Fiction originally occupied a storefront on the edge of the downtown through the town’s pop-up shop grant initiative last year. “The first time I drove down Main Street and saw the unoccupied storefront at 12 Main Street, I knew that I needed to have it,” April Rock, owner of Escape into Fiction. “We really wanted to be in the downtown so we can be part of the entire community, not just on the outskirts.”

Rock worked with town officials, business owners and the FDP to secure her new space. “The networking with the FDP helped us continue to stir interest and get people excited about establishing a bookstore in downtown Franklin.”

Roberta Trahan, vice president of the FDP and lifelong Franklin resident is delighted to see the growth in downtown Franklin. 

“The FDP Mission has always been to develop and support an attractive and vibrant downtown,” Trahan said. “The addition of these new businesses, coupled with the support of the many businesses that have been downtown for some time, will continue to work towards this goal. We are so excited for this continued growth!”