New flags for downtown decor aimed to reflect community is ‘growing and exciting’ 

Published 10:36 am Thursday, November 30, 2017

Adding beauty and creating a feel of vibrancy is the main purpose for colorful banners hung on lamp posts downtown. And when these banners are designed to be unique to this community, it’s a bonus.

Deciding on options for new downtown banners has been the task of Jennifer Kirchner, executive director of the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nick Wade, executive director of The Heart of Danville, and interior designer Janet Hamner, who is also a member of the city’s Beautification Committee, which is in charge of approving the final designs and ordering them.

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Kirchner said she and Bethany Rogers, former director of the HOD, began pushing for new banners that would “be more specific to our community identity,” about two years ago.

“Now with the completion of the branding project (Historically Bold), the banners present an excellent opportunity to tell our community’s story and celebrate our heritage. Banners create a vibrant downtown and making them unique to our community was a priority,” Kirchner said.

For example, the upcoming winter banner will feature a painting by the late Louise Wilkinson of the Boyle County Courthouse and the Iron Baby Angel fountain.

Other possible banners feature a trumpet player, and one showing the statue of two early statesmen shaking hands standing at Constitution Square Historic Site, both with the words, “Historically Bold, Danville, Kentucky.

Christmas banners hung earlier this month, which is actually the first design ever put up in Danville about 10 years ago — Peace and Joy banners. Hamner said the old banners were faded and worn, but “the people loved that banner, so we picked it up again,” she said.

She also reiterated that the purpose of banners are not for advertisements or for marketing, but for beauty. “They’re for the motoring public to latch on to.”

The City of Danville, HOD and the CVB are sharing the cost for purchasing the updated banners at about $6,000 per set, Kirchner said. And the city is in charge of putting them up, taking them down and storage.

“They are a high profile and effective way to signal our community is growing and exciting,” Kirchner said.

Currently the Beautification Committee is selecting a total of six sets, each set consisting of 45 banners. However, Kirchner said there is a possibility of adding more to the collection.

Hamner said as of now, there will be six “seasons” of banners including Christmas, winter, early spring, fall and two for summer. They will also be able to alternate seasons with some of the old banners.

Kirchner said, “There are many possibilities with the banners to celebrate a variety of notable events and accomplishments for our community. Attractions, historical attributes, rankings, local art … We do not have a policy in place if an event or organization wanted to purchase banners and have them hung downtown. These are not intended to be signs for advertising, rather a way to enhance and add vibrancy to downtown.”

In a recent CVB meeting, Kirchner described the banners as being an element of art and aesthetically pleasing. She compared them to wayfinding signs.

For instance when a business happens to be listed on a wayfinding sign, “It’s fantastic advertising,” Kirchner said. But that’s not the primary goal of a wayfinding sign. It’s a directive from point A to point B, she said.

However, Kirchner added, “In spring it would be great to promote festivals and things coming up,” in Danville and Perryville, such as the Great American Brass Band Festival.

During the meeting Kirchner added, “So if BBQ festival wanted to on their dime, buy the banners …. There is still room for a conversation.”

She said there is somewhat of a compromise when deciding what to feature on a banner. “We want to get really good at making the banners work for us.”

Banner designs submitted by Danville Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau.