GALVESTON — It’s a banner day for Galveston as 36 new vinyl flags in shades of orange, purple, green and blue are being hung to decorate downtown and direct visitors to dine, shop and discover the city’s center.

The festive signs, which cost $24,000, are part of a downtown marketing project paid for by the proceeds of parking meters installed after Hurricane Ike.

“The installation of the banners is a visual demarcation that this is the center of shopping, attractions, dining and arts,” said Joyce McLean, chair of the Park Board’s Downtown Oversight Committee.

“The bright colors and icons serve as a type of way-finding, but also show all that the downtown has to offer.”

The 2-by-4-foot banners are being installed on numbered streets between Mechanic and Church streets in downtown, along with double banners on Broadway and 25th Street and Harborside Drive.

“This is something many cities do to help define the downtown area and direct visitors to attractions,” Trey Click, said executive director of the Historic Downtown Strand Seaport Partnership.

Each banner displays a single word such as “Shop,” “Dine,” “Discover” or “Arts,” along with an icon promoting the downtown’s night life, restaurants, shops and galleries.

This is the latest iteration of a campaign, which includes way-finding stations installed last year at Pier 21, Saengerfest Park and on 21st and Postoffice streets, among other sites.

These stations are linked through smartphones to a website operated by the Downtown Partnership that lists all downtown sites, restaurants, shops, galleries, entertainment venues, and theaters.

For visitors without smartphones or an understanding of the QR code technology, physical maps also are available at the kiosks.

This project is a collaboration of the partnership, the Oversight Committee and the Park Board.

CenterPoint Energy allowed the banners to be affixed to its poles and helped plan the project, officials said.

(5) comments

Sherrie Bender

FINALLY! Galveston has figured out it needs to promote itself better. Now they need to educate beach goers that there IS a downtown! Money well spent [smile]

Lars Faltskog

All right, this sounds attractive and "catchy". But, really - $24,000 for banners? I know of a few streets (let's start with 43rd) that could use a new overlay.

Don't get this wrong....promotion and marketing is desirable, but sakes alive, 24K could do an awful lot of real fixin' up.

earl maura

Yes sverige1, I think your right, there is something fishy going on around here.$24,000 for banners? That comes to $666.67 per banner.I figure it cost about $100 per banner to mfr.( I have interest in a sign co.) to pay someone a hundred dollars to go out and mount the thing would be really generous. So that leaves at least $16,000 of potential profit for a days work!

Lisa Blair

Have you seen them? I think they're way too small and not very eye-catching.

Lars Faltskog

Well, I don't venture downtown too much unless I have an inkling to look at some antiques or go to the FedEx place on Post Office to send something I must absolutely have to send.

I think a lot of folks are the opposite of "can't see the forest for the trees". Those are people who are looking for something specific (like a store or a type of store) and the banners are not part of their attention scheme. Anyhow, I would think someone could do this on the cheap, get some butcher paper, write signage, then run them through one of those thermofax poster thingys that make them glossy and protect them. I forgot what the machine is called, but schoolteachers use them a lot to protect posters.

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