AMHERST — Downtown Amherst was awash with gold and green Sunday as hundreds of town members came out to show their Amherst spirit.
The event was the result of weeks of planning and practice; a video to showcase and promote the businesses, schools and community of Amherst.
However, it wasn’t an ordinary video.
“We were just looking to do something different,” said Teresa Gilles, executive director of Main Street Amherst, whose members developed the concept for the video.
The short movie, which was filmed Sunday morning by Melendez Home Video, starts at Old Town Pizza on Cleveland Avenue with the owners lip synching to “Small Town” by John Mellencamp. The camera then turns to other members of the town, including many business owners who join in, lip synching and dancing along. As the song ends, the Amherst Military Honor Guard delivers a 21-gun salute, and “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang begins. Town members and businesses again join in. The scene ends with everyone coming together on Main Street.
For Gilles, both the participation in the video and response from the town stands out.
“I just love that people love their community,” she said, explaining how schools, businesses and families who live in Amherst came to be a part of the video.
Some businesses, Gilles said, even prepared ahead of time. Lush Salon on Park Avenue got two volunteers to wear face masks and sit under hair dryers as part of the salon’s participation. Anytime Fitness brought a bright yellow hummer to the event and had people dancing on the car’s roof and hood while the cameras rolled.
“I just loved the energy,” said Joni Poli, promotional chairwoman of Main Street Amherst, who said that despite the 9 a.m. filming Sunday, participants were excited during the hour-long shoot.
Main Street Amherst plans to put the video on YouTube and Facebook to show the rest of the country the highlights of their town.
The group plans to premiere the video at Amherst Cinema this week.