By: Lara Serbin, Buckeye Main Street Coalition
Initially, the idea of making totes out of vintage Main Street banners came from National Main Street Conference in Detroit last year. Those who went received unique totes made from pieces of banners to carry our conference stuff. My tote had a hamburger on it from an old Wendy’s banner. Working together, Buckeye Main Street Coalition members figured out how to make our own banner bags. Charlene Powers one of the founding members of the Coalition has saved banners used on Monroe Avenue since the early 1980’s. The banners range from Cinco de Mayo, Patriot and hospitality type banners. All together we sorted through about 100 banners to send off to be cut and sewn into totes.
Much gratitude goes to Gregg Hillebrand with Arizona Corrections for making it possible for these bags to be produced. We handed the banners off to Gregg and he saw to it that the bags were completed to our patterned specifications. Before we knew it, the inmates of Arizona Corrections had not only completed the task but with great precision and craftsmanship. Each tote has a one-of –a-kind message on it. The graphics were centered on the panels and the handle straps were reinforced so you can really load up these things. The Buckeye Bags sell for $20.00 and can be purchased at Buckeye Feed and Country Store and Buckeye Main Street Coalition annual events like the upcoming Old Time 4th of July Celebration.