New Milford has a long and proud tradition of bringing live music, arts and crafts, fresh produce and other attractions to its Village Green and downtown each summer.

From the immensely successful Village Fair Days to the annual Outdoor Art Festival and Fourth of July activities, New Milford has established a high standard for quality, diversity and community with its outdoor summer calendar.

There are plenty more headliners on New Milford's summer marquee, of course, including the town's ever-popular concert series on the Village Green, the annual Teddy Bear Family Craft Festival, which will be held Saturday, and the Paint the People festival, which will be held the following weekend at Young's Field.

By no means is this brief list of summer events meant to be comprehensive. But it does indicate the vibrancy of New Milford's civic and business groups, its charitable organizations, and its school and religious groups, all of which contribute heartily to the town's quality of life.

We believe New Milford already does a terrific job using its Green and downtown to promote local merchants, artisans and organizations.

At the same time, we would like to see even more groups and businesses take advantage of local summer events and the crowds they draw from New Milford and the surrounding towns.

Summer fairs and festivals are a great way for local merchants to creatively promote their businesses to hundreds or even thousands of people who attend these family-friendly events.

Even if your business isn't on the Village Green, a festival booth is a powerful tool to greet current customers and connect with new ones. Raffles and other promotions are both crowd favorites and good leads.

Some store owners already market special sales or discounts for festival patrons. Likewise, some local restaurants bring in new customers by offering a free item with an entree purchase, for example.

The glorious, sultry weather of the recent Memorial Day weekend is a reminder of the enviable summer settings in New Milford, from the Village Green, Bank Street and downtown to Young's Field and other local parks.

We encourage everyone -- town officials, merchants, artists, residents, visitors and others -- to support these summer showcases. They are a great way to spend a summer afternoon or evening in New Milford.