Growing up in Lakeview Heights, just minutes from Lions Club Park and Olde Towne, Tara Lytal has always been close to the heart of Clinton. Lytal’s parents moved their family to Clinton before she was born to be faculty at Mississippi College, so growing up in the small town of Clinton has been her story. “We rode our bikes everywhere”;”my childhood in Clinton was great,” Lytal said. She loves the small town feel that Clinton has offered her entire life. “I love that it has the amenities of a larger town but the small town feel,” she added.
Although Clinton has radically changed over Lytal’s years here, she has seen the start of many things. Tara Lytal is the Program Director of Main Street Clinton. She has served in this position since 2007. Prior to her start at Main Street, Lytal received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Mississippi College. “There are now many more on campus activities,” she said. Lytal sees that things are completely different and the students are engaged in a different way. In Lytal’s time at MC she witnessed the start and the growth of Follies for the tribes and clubs. Now, it is one of the biggest events that MC holds.
Lytal had many opportunities to leave Clinton, but she found herself drawn to the place she calls home. “I choose to stay in Clinton because my job kept in the Jackson area and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else,” she said. Living in this area and now working for Main Street has been a rewarding experience for Lytal. Before she began working for Main Street Clinton, Lytal was an Interior Designer with a passion for Public Relations. Her involvement with Main Street lead her to be hired full time and serve as program director.
Staying in Clinton, Tara said she is able to give back and make a difference, unlike in a larger city. “You are lost [in a larger city],” she said. Her involvement in Clinton has ranged from serving in committees in her church to being a part of the board of directors. Over the past eleven years, the downtown has come to life. Very soon, the Main Street offices, now located at City Hall, will be moving to the Train Depot, near Lions Club Park. This move will allow for more growth and more beautification to be expanded through Clinton, Lytal said. She hopes that in ten years there will be more revitalization will happen in the outlying neighborhoods.
Molly Mitchell Golding, a senior at MC, and intern for Main Street Clinton has also watched growth happen in Clinton. “I’ve been given a lot of opportunities to learn new things and also put what I’ve learned in school to the test,” Golding said. Golding has been involved in planning different events with Main Street and letting Lytal encourage her. “She wants to help me learn and she gives me freedom to do so”;”she’s very encouraging and makes working enjoyable,” she added.
As Main Street Clinton grows, Tara wants to see things become greater and contribute in the place she has spent her life.