CANTON - On Monday, a "pep rally" to celebrate an exciting weekend in Canton, also revealed the city as a finalist for a $25,000 grant.

City Manager Billy Peppers kicked the pep rally off by introducing “the top 10 reasons you should be excited to live in Canton”:

10. The trail options and connectivity are about to explode in Canton. By the next calendar year, city staff is hopeful to have all the parks in Canton connected by a trail system.

9. The new Canton Theatre Events and Facilities Director was announced as Kristin Gauthier. Soon the theater will be premiering new programs including a movie series sponsored by LGE credit union, including date nights at the theater and “binge moviethons” where you can watch a whole movie series at one time. Peppers also highlighted the Etowah Film Festival that will be held at the Canton Theatre from May 23 through 26. Film makers from across the country, student films, independent films and more will be premiered at this festival.

8. Peppers announced that city officials are working with a new business to open up excursions on the Etowah river. This business will bring excursions like kayaking, canoeing and more for Canton residents and visitors to enjoy.

7. This Thursday the City Council will hear first proposal for a parking deck downtown which should be designed and bid out by the end of this year and built by the end of next year.

6. Backyard Products,LLC, an outdoor building and playground equipment manufacturing company is consolidating divisional operations into a single facility in Canton.

5. The Mill on Etowah continues to see progress and growth as new businesses sign on. So far there are six restaurants (yet to be announced), Thrive Coworking, Reformation Brewery, the Cotton Mill Exchange, Liberty Hill Church, ClickFunnels and Rayven Candles.

4. Canton River Rock concert series kicks off May 18 in Etowah River Park

3. The farmers market starts next saturday, May 11 with 47 vendors, locally grown produce, fresh baked goods and more.

2. Events happening this weekend include:

  • First Friday kicks off in downtown with The Return, a Beatles tribute band
  • Saturday and Sunday, the Canton festival for the Arts held in Brown Park
  • BBQ and Brews at Etowah River Park on May 4 from noon until 6 p.m.
  • 16th Annual Kentucky Derby Day at the Historic Rock Barn
  • Celebrate Cinco De Mayo on May 5 at Canton’s many Mexican restaurants

1. Canton is in the top 25 for the American Main Streets Contest which would provide a $25,000 grant if won. Velinda Hardy, Downtown Development Manager, said that the money would go straight into supporting small businesses within Canton. Voting is now open for the top 10, visit 

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