“I’ve never been downtown” is a phrase that I have heard far too often growing up here, in Olympia Washington. To think that a parent would deny their children the beauties of Arts Walk and the Procession of the Species is disturbing indeed. I do understand that there are parts of our downtown that some parents may want to purposely avoid, but it isn’t an excuse to completely neglect an entire downtown. If you teach your children to avoid downtowns and instead frequent the mall, you are reinforcing the stereotype of a dirty disgusting downtown, which is not the case. I know that as a teen myself, I have pride for the place that I live in (even though many of my peers still retain these downtown stereotypes) because my parents exposed me to our fabulous downtown. So if show your children the fun of the Procession from a young age (as was done with me), and the joy of exploring boutiques like Hot Toddy (even if you don’t buy anything) or trying the food at delicious eateries like Old School Pizzeria, you will assist in creating a new generation that supports their local economy, and therefore helps everyone out.