Central City district gets new banners
HUNTINGTON -- In the continuing effort to improve the tourist draw on 14th Street West in Huntington, 10 new banners have gone up welcoming visitors to "Old Central City," as the district is known.
A $2,000 micro-grant for the banners was obtained by the city for the Old Central City Association, through City Councilman Pete Gillespie, who represents the area as part of District 2.
"They're crisp and fresh, and they welcome people to our community, which is exactly what we want them to do," said Joanna Sexton, owner of Hattie & Nan's Antiques and project manager for the Old Central City Association.
"We get a lot of tourism," Sexton said. "With all of the publicity we've been getting, it's generated a lot of new interest in our area."
Huntington city government took an interest in revitalizing the historic district and making it not only a foot traffic draw, but tourist attraction last year.
The city has since turned the Central City Gazebo over to the Association, acknowledging that those who have businesses or live in the area would know better how to maintain and market it than the city government.
Huntington City Council also chose local food market the Wild Ramp to take over the former Central City Market to provide an anchor for activity among the quaint antique shops that line 14th Street West.
So far, the Wild Ramp, in combination with the Central City Famers Market, has been up to the task.
"The markets have really drawn traffic down here," said Bill Vipperman, who owns Antiques and Collectibles on 14th Street West. "And the gazebo, I know we've had some bookings, and there are some coming up. I know we've booked it for a wedding."
The Association is planning an Octoberfest celebration for late September, and a motorcycle show is in the works, Vipperman said.
Follow reporter Ben Fields on Twitter @BenFieldsHD.
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