Canton Historic Downtown Loop

151 Elizabeth Street Canton, GA 30114
Phone: 770-704-1548  |  Fax: 770-704-1538
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Thank You to these 10 downtown businesses!

Thank You to all the downtown businesses that donated time, money, and gifts to the Canton Salutes Mom Mother's Day Makeover!  The makeover day went so smoothly and the winning mother really got a once in a lifetime treatment and it is all Thanks to our wonderful downtown! 

Businesses that participated:

Capture stoutsCapturePrac Perfect 2Studio 5KeysJewelrylogounnamedlive cleanindigojdjNonis


If you want to see the winning mother's transformation, check out the upcoming May Issue of Canton Family Life Magazine! 

Thanks again to all who made this event so special!


April's Main Street Morning has a NEW location

Main Street Morning on April 8th (8am-9am) will no longer be at Mojo Productions.  Instead, come out to see us at Junk Drunk Jones on April 8th!  Our new host is eager to have us, and we are so excited to be spending the morning with her!  But don't worry, Mojo Productions will host us in May instead!  Sorry to switch this up on you all!  Thanks for understanding!


Address: 175 West Main Street, Canton GA.

Canton's Give-Back to a Deserving Mother: Update


April First Friday is near!

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April First Friday - Children's Disney/Star Wars Costume Contest!

Parents! Check this out for April's First Friday! Bring the kids and let them get one last year out of those favorite costumes. They grow up so fast...

First Friday is April 1st from 6pm-9pm.  The contest will be held during the band break. 

April COstume COntest

Local Blogger Shares A "Loop" Flashback

Local author and blogger, Polly Balint, has shared another story with The Canton Main Street Program.  This time, Polly shares the story of a former downtown business owner and current downtown employee, Diane Oberkorm.  Diane was the owner and baker for the Soul Food Kitchen that used to service historic downtown Canton.  Below you can read her story and find out what she's up to now!

You can follow Polly's blog at



People In The Loop

Historic Downtown Canton Loop: She Smiles When She Talks :)

by Polly Balint


When I told my friend Diane Oberkrom I wanted to write a story about her and title it She Smiles When She Talks, she laughed. I told her, "You really do smile when you talk, you know!" 

She smiles when she answers the phone and when she bakes her latest mouthwatering treat from her Soul Food Market kitchen.

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 Diane Oberkrom, owner of The Soul Food Market, is giddy over the recipe she calls, "Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Cushion." 
Actually it is a gourmet sandwich cookie.


 Her life has not been an easy journey but she is trusting God as the power who is higher than her circumstances. Diane is a widow and a single mom to son Augie, who's a freshman at Reinhardt College. "I think I was just born with a happy disposition. I've always been a smiler," she said, smiling of course.

"I have always been easy going and I try to do what is right -- not perfectly of course. But I didn't get mad at God when my husband died -- I certainly didn't expect it to happen, of course! He died in his sleep. Augie was 8 years old at the time and he asked me what actually happened to his dad. I didn't plan to answer him the way I did, it just came out of my mouth. I said to him, 'Jesus came to our house and took Dad with him.'  I've just always trusted Jesus."

While Diane was a successful corporate banker working in downtown Atlanta she kept having dreams night after night of starting her own bakery. She'd awaken in the night and write down recipes for cookies, cakes and cupcakes.  She dreamed of putting Bible verses on business card-size tags and attaching them to each morsel. You know, in the same way fortune cookies have a message attached.

She followed that dream of establishing The Soul Food Market in 2005. It began as an online bakery.  The soul in the name isn't from a menu of collard greens and cornbread. Nope. The dream was to delight the palate of her guests as well as nourish their souls with the Good News of Scripture. She was compelled  to attach a Scripture tag to each cookie and cupcake she baked. Bobby Greene of Greene's Blueprinting in the Downtown Loop has always made Diane's Scripture cards.

She smiles broadly when she answers the phone for takeout orders and catering gigs. Yes, she's been catering weddings, conferences, bridal showers, baby showers and birthday bashes. You give Diane a theme for your next event and she'll prepare your food in the colors and tastes that complement your party. 

She's shipped gift boxes of her goodies to all 50 states and three countries. "I wanted to be a disciple to all nations and the salt of the earth but instead of just salt I'm the flour, sugar, and butter, too! In the Downtown Loop I wanted to reach as many people as I could. So on Saturdays we pulled a large red wagon full of our food and served the farmers at the Farmer's Market since they couldn't leave their truckloads of vegetables to come to The Soul Food Market. I have also pulled the red wagon to the courthouse and lawyers' offices to deliver their lunches and desserts." 

Her business grew and she was led to a storefront in the Historic Downtown Canton Loop a few years ago. It was the kitchen/lunch counter inside Yawn's Books & More on Main Street, owned by Farris and his mother Nadine Yawn. Diane's menu kept growing. She was serving lunches to local attorneys, jurors from the Cherokee County Courthouse that was across the street from Yawn's. She had many drop-ins who heard about the Soul Food Market.

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Diane (wearing the hat) prepared lunches for our weekly Totally Devoted gathering at 
Yawn's Books & More. 
Yawn's Co-owner Nadine Yawn is sitting next to Diane.
(I pulled Diane away from her lunch counter long enough to get her in the picture.)


From the beginning she has named her creations like a loving mother gives pet names to her beloved children. And she's not just giving whimsical and clever names to her sweet treats but also her lunch menu of salads, soups and sandwiches. She named cupcakes after city officials such a chocolate cupcake with chocolate butter cream icing and a Chocolate Malted Milk Ball inside -- was named "Tall, Dark and Handsome" in honor of the firemen. 

When Elvis Impersonator Damon Hendrix came to perform at the Canton Theater, Diane sold freshly made grilled peanut butter sandwiches, banana and bacon sandwiches and two desserts in honor of Elvis -- and Damon's performance. The "Love Me Tender" dessert was a banana cupcake with peanut butter, butter cream frosting and bacon crumbles and the "Blue Suede Shoes" cupcake had blue butter cream frosting.

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Diane Oberkrom at her counter inside Yawn's Books & More,  holding the cupcakes honoring the Elvis Impersonator
performance by Damon Hendrix at the Canton Theater.


Diane moved into her business a couple storefronts from Yawn's. She was continuing to serve local business owners and county and city officials. She also provided a weekly lunch for our Totally Devoted gathering.

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Diane Oberkrom (standing) in The Soul Food Market space on Main Street.


Yawn's has moved into a newly-renovated location on the other side of the Loop, operating Yawn's Publishing. These upgrades are continuing for several businesses!

When Diane closed her latest location on Main Street, The Soul Food Market began creating tasty trademark sandwich wraps and desserts for Peter Williams' trendy new coffee bar called Cup Up Coffee on Main Street. You can find Peter"s popular hangout within the Audio Intersection storefront. Did I mention it's the renovated space formerly known as Yawn's Books & More?

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 Photo dated May 2011

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Photo dated July 2014

 Cup Up Coffee Bar Owner/Barista Peter Williams, is pictured checking his food case filled with The Soul Food Market's trademark treats. Diane has since moved The Soul Food Market back to solely online business at this time.

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Cup Up Coffee Owner Peter Williams is a connoisseur of rich coffees and teas.  


 Wherever The Soul Food Market is located, Diane is going to be whipping up delicious, savory menu items and always serving them with a smile. That's just how she rolls.


Diane has added a new venture to her list of talents and professional services in the community. She is a paralegal for Bray & Johnson Attorneys in the Downtown Loop. She still smiles when she talks whether she's on the phone with clients in the attorney office building or at her home office taking phone orders for her gourmet muffins, sandwiches or a full-blown catering job with her Soul Food Market. Check out Diane's The Soul Food Market Menu!

She's another bright light in the community of the Historic Downtown Canton. If you see her in town you'll recognize her right away. She's the one sharing her delightful gift of smiling.    

Photos and story by Polly Balint


First Friday is THIS WEEK! Don't forget to your Passport Card!

Canton's 1st First Friday of 2016 will be March 4th from 6pm-9pm. It will be a BEER GARDEN consisting of covered space, space heaters (if needed), The Band Canton in the Gazebo, beer and food!
There is no Car Show for this event.
The vendors in this event will be exclusively our beloved Brick-and-Mortar downtown restaurants - who will be featuring a beer and a showcased food item!
No pre-ordered tickets. Each food item and beer is purchased individually from the vendors. If you are drinking, please bring your ID to be served. Non-Drinkers will have other beverage options to choose from.  


Ok, so when you come to the Beer Garden you will need to stop at the Main Street tent to pick up your PASSPORT CARD. This is a card that we made for you to collect stamps from each of the 5 vendor locations. You must purchase a food or beverage item to receive a stamp. Once you collect all 5 stamps, return card to the Main Street them with your Name, Number, and Email on the back of the card. This card will be entered into a raffle drawing! All 5 vendors (The Snug, Mancini's, DK, Goin' Coastal, and Stouts) are all donating GIFT CARDS! There will be 5 Winners. 1st drawn winner will get to pick their desired card, 2nd will pick next, and so on! Remember, there are NON-ALCOHOLIC options as well, so don't hesitate to come hang out even if you're not a huge drinker! Can't wait to see you there!


March FF 2016 - edited

Local Blogger Shares Her Story In "The Loop"

Local author and blogger, Polly Balint, has loved this little town for years.  She has recently volunteered some of her stories to the Canton Main Street Program for us to share with you here on our site.  Below is a quick story about a man and dog that Polly met on Main Street back when 190 E Main St. was the Painted Pig Tavern.  You can follow Polly's blog at
People in the Loop

Bert & Oreo 
by Polly Balint

Come on, be honest. If you were strolling down the sidewalk in Historic Downtown Canton and you saw a little black and white dog quietly sitting in a bicycle basket you'd take more than a second look. You'd take a picture, too, just like I did.


 Of course, I couldn't stop there, I had to move in for a closer look and prove this was a real dog in a bike basket and the bike was leaning against a wall! So I took a close-up photo. 


If you keep reading, you'll see I took several photos while I was laughing in amazement. The cute little dog posed for my photo shoot instead of barking at me or jumping out of the basket! After taking several pictures of this phenomenon I turned around and walked to my car parked two storefronts away. I kept thinking "Where is the owner and how is this possible? There is a story here, I know it."  The dog in the bike basket was gently and securely parked next to a huge ceramic painted pig! Yep. And it makes sense because this is the front of The Painted Pig Tavern. It was one of several popular eateries flourishing in the loop! And as you can see this establishment offers more than food. Entertainment is on the menu, too.


After several photos I turned to walk to my car again, and when I glanced back I saw a tall gray-haired gentleman giving the dog a cup of ice water.  Ah-hah!  The Owner! 


I couldn't seem to stay in my car. I had to ask! I walked back to speak to him.  

Folks, this is Bert Danforth who was kind enough to let me take his picture and even share a little of the story in front of me. Bert is single and has lived in the Canton area for 30 years. His dog, Oreo, is two years old. Bert was the cleaning manager at The Painted Pig Tavern. This day he stopped in the restaurant to pick up his paycheck knowing Oreo would be completely safe where he left him.  I told him I was very curious how Oreo was able to stay in the basket...and also be content sitting there. He replied, "I put him in the basket one day and when we got to the convenience store I said, ‘Stay’ and he's been staying ever since. He'll wait there all day if I let him."
I asked him if Oreo went to work with him every day and he shook his head as if to say "no."  He picked Oreo up out of the basket and put him down on the sidewalk before we sat at the nearby outdoor seating area, to talk.  Bert said, "I get up at 5:55 AM and get ready for work, take him out to do his business and then I get on my bike and ride to work. He has to stay home."

Then Bert reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a wrapped red and white striped peppermint. "And his favorite food is peppermint," he added. When he was unwrapping the candy Oreo became very attentive. Oreo’s attention was riveted to Bert's hands.  Bert fed him a peppermint twice while I tried to take a photo of him feeding Oreo. The little pooch snatched that candy and swallowed it faster than I could take a snapshot of it!


Bert told me Oreo isn't the only one who loves to eat peppermints, but he can't eat them around Oreo anymore. He explained why; "I'll put a peppermint in my mouth while I'm riding my bike and Oreo reaches up on my chest to snatch it out of my mouth. I have to stop my bike so he won’t fall."  I asked Bert what he thinks of Historic Downtown Canton. "I like small town life. I’m glad they're fixing it [the loop] and keeping it up and at the same time they're still keeping it small. I like it."

The next time you're in the Canton loop, maybe you'll meet Bert and Oreo and it will bless your day, too.
These are the things in life that really matter: People. Kindness. Community. Loving our neighbors. Doing what's right and good. Shining the light.

Photos Copyright 2014  by Polly Balint 

First Friday Vendor Applications Available

Do you have a tasty treat or valuable craft or talent?  Think you may want to be a vendor in this year's First Friday festivals?  Click HERE.  The 2016 applications are located at the bottom of that Resources page.

Tangible products sold on site is what we are looking for.  Main Street has final approval and discretion in terms of vendor selection.

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The Ice RInk Is Finally Here!

It's Finally Here!

After much buzz, the Canton Main Street Program and the Canton Tourism Committee can finally say "IT'S HERE"!

Starting tomorrow, for two days, there will be ice skating at Brown Park in downtown Canton (151 Elizabeth St, Canton, Ga.)!

2pm-7pm both days
$10 for 30 min skate time (includes skate rentals)
Some food vendors onsite
Music playing
Bathrooms onsite
Playground onsite
Snow Machine
Event for all ages

PLEASE TRY TO BRING CASH TO THIS EVENT. We will be bringing a credit card reader to take payments but it will be battery operated and may lose power by day's end. So please don't rely on that. Otherwise your closest ATM will be Bank of North Georgia on Main Street.

Also, this is First-Come-First-Serve and skate times are in 30 minute blocks (ex: 2:00pm-2:30pm, 2:30pm-3:00pm, etc). 30 skaters are allowed on the ice at any one time. If you come at 2:10pm and there is still opening for the 2:30pm, that will be your assigned skate time. Otherwise you will be given a slot in the first available skate time.

Come with plenty of time to spare. Plan on a possible wait. Food and hot/cold beverages available while you wait. If all skate times fill up, we will have to stop taking skaters.

Restaurants downtown will all be open for dinner. We encourage you all to stay downtown and enjoy a meal after the rink closes.

This event is brought to you by the Canton Main Street Program and the Canton Tourism Program!

2016 Farmers Market Application is now available!

The Canton Farmers Market will return for its eighth season on May 28th.  This market which features locally grown and produced products, will be held Saturday mornings in Downtown Canton in Cannon Square from 9am-1pm . The market will be open through October 2016.  We are seeking local farmers, artisans and food vendors.  Those interested in participating in the Canton Farmers Market may obtain an application by messaging the market manager at Facebook Page “Canton Farmers Market”, by downloading the application at, or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view for a copy.  For more information, call (410) 858-6664.

The application can also be found on this website under the Resources tab:


Community Garden Clean-Up

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Help us get ready for the next growing season.
Heron Square Community Garden [at the corner of East and West Marietta Streets in downtown Canton] will be having a cleanup day on Monday, January 18th from 11 am to 1 pm.
We will be raking, weeding, trimming, and spreading mulch. We will also be repairing and creating new raised beds.
Please wear glove and sensible shoes. We will have some tools but if you have some please bring them with you.

Valentine's Day in Canton... Let's make a date!

Canton Main Street and Canton Tourism bring you the first Valentine's Skate Rink in Canton!  One weekend only!

Rink will be in the City Hall front parking lot, next to Brown Park.  Public restrooms will be available.

Skate times lead right into the dinner hours so make sure to make your dinner dates at our local downtown restaurants (all of which are opening special or extending existing hours for Valentine's Day).

So make Canton your Valentine's weekend destination!


Ice Rink

Jan 8th is 2016's first Main Street Morning meeting!

Don't miss Main Street Morning's January networking meeting. Come learn what is new this month in downtown and enjoy a free pastry and coffee breakfast on us (coffee and pastries will come from Canton's very own Cup Up Coffee).  It is a great and relaxing way to start your morning...not to mention all the great people you may meet!

Location: City Hall

Date: 01/08/2016



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Shop Small Promos and BINGO

Downtown stores  have come together to create great sales and promos for you on Shop Small Saturday!  See ad below:

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And while you are shopping, pick up a BINGO card at the gazebo or any participating store/restaurant and start playing!

It’s time for holiday shopping and our Historic Downtown Merchants want you to SHOP LOCAL! As you visit and shop in Historic Downtown Canton, take this BINGO card with you. Have the owner mark off their shop. Once you have 4 squares filled, ANY COMBINATION, then bring your card to The Gazebo in Cannon Park by 2pm! You will be entered into a drawing to receive a Free Appetizer from our newest Restaurant "Mancini's Italian Tradition" And a Gift Certificate for 20% OFF ANY Service at Practically Perfect Day Spa & Salon! The first 100 shoppers that turn in a bingo card will receive a 10% OFF AN ENTREE for Mancini's Italian Tradition OR The Snug.

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Upcoming Art and Wine Walk in downtown

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Our Veterans Parade in photos...



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Getting Rady to Say Goodbye to Fall

Fall is nearing an end and downtown Canton will hate to see it go.  So many fun events happened in our little town over the past couple of months.  Here are some of the highlights:

Share Your Care Day - Sept 9th

Share Your Care

 Thanks to all who came out to share their care! 

And a special THANKS to Micheal Jacobs for his Cherokee native-inspired musical entertainments.


2nd annual Chili Cook-Off - October 10th


Congrats to Dorissa Shackleford who was our Judges Panel Champion!

Congrats to Andrew Humphrey who was voted by the public as the People's Choice winner!

All the chili entries were fantastic!  Thanks to all who entered!

Trick Or Treat - October 31st


Downtown Canton was overrun with ghouls, goblins, princesses, and superheros on Halloween!  And they were all looking for one thing...CANDY!

Scarecrow Contest - October 31st


1st place winner....Mancini's Italian Restaurant!

2nd place winner....Junk Drunk Jones!

3rd place winner...Cherokee Barber and Style Shop!

Congrats, and thanks to all who entered a Scarecrow!


Fall is not over yet!  Come out and see us tomorrow, November 14th to honor our Veterans.  Event starts at 11:30am, Parade starts at 1:30pm!




Valentine's Event in Downtown Canton!

Register here for babysitting on Valentines Day! 6-10pm provided by Oak Leaf Church!


Valentine Ad for Trib

Scarecrow Contest and Chili Cook-off

Calling all crafters and cooks! We need you! We are having our annual scarecrow contest this year beginning October 17, with judging on the 25th! 1st is $50 Downtown Dollars, 2nd is $30 and 3rd is $20. Drop your scarecrows off at City Hall (151 Elizabeth Street, Canton) by October 17.

Also happening on October 25th will be the Main Street Inferno Chili Cook Off- no cost to enter and the 5 gallons of chili can be made offsite before the event. Main Street will provide the tents, but all competitors must provide a generator (muffled for sound) to keep the chili warm. There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize, plus a People's Choice award and we have some massive trophies to give away! Call Meghan at 770-704-1548 for more information or to participate! Click read more for the applications! VOTE for your favorite scarecrow here.

September First Friday- Cherokee High Alumni Night

Cherokee High Alumni Night

Friday, September 5, 2014

Show some Warrior Pride downtown! 1st Generation Band will be playing a mixture of 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and today's hits!