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Merchants share a common visionFrom staff reports

The merchants in Brundidge have a message to share, and it's one that's catching on.

"I guess you could say our theme is 'come see what Brundidge has to offer you,'" said Lamar Steed, president of the 80-plus member Brundidge Business Association. "It makes sense, because Brundidge has a lot to offer."

The BBA is known through the region for its proactive approach to promoting Brundidge. A slate of year-round activities ranges from monthly antiques auctions (which bring hundreds of people) to a weekly exotic animal auction; from an annual arts and crafts festival to the popular Miss and Little Miss Brundidge pageant; from co-sponsoring the

fall favorite Peanut Butter Festival to cosponsoring the annual Veterans' Salute; from the popular and quaint Independence Day Parade to the old-fashioned Christmas lights display.

Along the way, the BBA co-sponsors a weekly radio show, prints and distributes statewide brochures on Brundidge, markets the community along U.S. 231, honors the business leaders of the year and does just about anything it can to share it's message. Later this year, the BBA will begin distributing a newsletter to members through the city's water bills.

"When I got into this a year ago, I decided I wanted to do my best," Steed said. "We've had a good year and we're ready to take it to the next level."

The BBA, which has representation on the Pike County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, works actively to promote both business and tourism in Brundidge. They succeed, Steed said, with the support of the closely knit community and its leadership.

"The mayor, he's the one," Steed said, referring to Jimmy Ramage III. "He's working real close together (with the BBA). That's the way it works with teamwork."

And that support - for example, the mayor personally greeted each of the more than 55 pageant queens who attended the BBA's Independence Day parade - pays off. The community earns a reputation for hospitality and, as Steed said, the description by regional business leaders "that we're one town that's doing it right."

The BBA's next major activity is the Peanut Butter Festival, which it cosponsors with the Brundidge Historical Society. The event takes place on Oct. 25.

Anyone interested in joining the BBA - including residents or businesses outside Brundidge - can contact Steed at 334.735.2306.