Brundidge re-branding city, no longer ‘Antique City’

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A dog park or a splash park? What’s next for Brundidge?

A group of community-minded citizens met Monday afternoon to, once again, discuss the re-branding of the City of Brundidge. For several years the city branded itself as Antique City but can no longer boast of a large number of antique shops. So, it’s re-branding time.

Dixie Shehane, Brundidge Business Association president, led the discussion at Monday’s meeting, which was the second held for the purpose of finding a new brand for the city.

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Following the first meeting two weeks ago, Brundidge citizens were invited to suggest ideas of ways to bring travelers off busy U. S. Highway 231 and into downtown Brundidge.

“We had some good and thoughtful suggestions to give Brundidge more of a hometown appeal, ranging from a picnic area, a fountain, a walking trail, a sidewalk café surrounded by art, park benches and new trash cans on the streets,” Shehane said.

However, a dog park and a splash park were the ideas that seemed to catch on with several who attended the Monday meeting. 
It was suggested that the open area behind Brundidge City Hall could be used as a dog park where motorists could stop and walk their dogs.

Olaf Lieb, owner of the downtown Internet Café, said dog cages could be made available for those who would like the ‘check’ their dogs while they shopped or dined in town.

Brundidge City Council Member Cynthia Pearson suggested that having cookies and lemonade available would be a nice way to express appreciation to those who stopped at the dog park.

The suggested location for the splash park was on city property adjacent to the Brundidge Station area. Lieb and Pearson shared photos of splash parks saved on their cell phones, giving other members an idea of how a splash park would enhance the area along the railroad crossing.

Lawrence Bowden, Brundidge Historical Society president, tossed out the idea of a “train watching station.”

“Years ago, watching trains was a popular form of entertainment and it might be today,” he said.

Pearson shared an idea from a recent trip where she went on a “tea and shopping” excursion and thought offering tea to travelers might an enticement for them to stop and shop.

Other ideas included taking advantage of the small things that are now available and using them to the town’s advantage including planting trees, lighting the stores at night to give life to the town and eye-catching signage on the highway to let motorists know that something is going on in Brundidge.

Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage said he attended a recent meeting at Point Clear and some people were talking about foods they liked best and many of the foods were manufactured in Brundidge.

He suggested a catchy phrase highlighting the town’s growing food-manufacturing industries : “Brundidge is in your pantry. Come let us get in your head.”

The idea received nods from several people around the table.

Chuck Caraway, owner and CEO of Southern Classic Foods, said no matter how the town is branded, it’s going to take those who are willing to invest dollars in the community and the support of the locaal community for any “brand” to be successful.

The group agreed the support of the retail merchants would drive the success of the downtown area along with the support of the local community.