Patriotic decor brightens up downtown

Area residents and shop owners have come together to add a decorative touch to the downtown area.

Auglaize Street in Wapakoneta has taken on more red, white and blue — to celebrate summer holidays and add a special “welcoming” theme to downtown.

Fern Hill Farmhouse shop owner Jodie Goodwin brought the idea up to the Wapakoneta Antique and Specialty Shops group (WASS) of adding some hand crafted decorations to display downtown to make the downtown shop area look more “cutesy.”

“We’re just making it cute,” Goodwin said. “It draws peoples’ eyes in. Every year we hope to add to it and make it better.”

WASS started this “Patriotic Pride Project,” and local residents and shop owners have taken interest. Now it is a community-wide project, involving members of the Downtown Wapakoneta Partnership (DWP) and local residents. Group members work together to cut out and paint stars, hang red, white and blue bows in the trees and on the poles and decorate with American flags all around downtown Wapakoneta.

“This is a great place to live and work,” Goodwin said. “We wanted to make the town look prettier.”

She said that this may add a “welcoming” feel to the area.

Goodwin took notice of the red, white and blue flowers planted in the pots in downtown, and she wanted to continue the color scheme and add more decorations to create an inviting feel to downtown and the local shops.

The colored stars were cut out of pieces of plywood, and painted, and are all on display around downtown Wapakoneta, including a special “Party at the Parkway” sign they created near the parkway, where monthly concerts are held.

Ribbons and flag are also hung on the street, and Goodwin said that they plan to add more decorations soon — which will include small stars that are cut out in red and blue Solo cups, and other small handcrafted pieces.

Goodwin said this is a theme that can be continued each year, along with adding more decorative pieces to it.

“This is also election year, so we took the idea and ran with it,” Goodwin said. “We plan to leave it up until fall.”

To commemorate Memorial Day, Flag Day and the election year, Goodwin said that this theme is very fitting for the season.

The group plans to continue this effort in the other seasons. In the fall, the group plans to create an autumn appearance, and the same goes with Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

People who have helped Goodwin on this project are Charlotte Williams, Jack Lambert, Laura Clementz, Landa Tomlinson, Donna Parsons, Lisa Propst, Rex Maxwell, Jason McCulley and Judie and Joe Presar, and the flags were donated by Tonya Horn.

“This is a nice way to get people involved,” Goodwin said. “Even if you’re not a shop owner, you can still help.”