Destination Downtown Mebane is launching a series of interactive public displays this fall in an effort to bring more foot traffic to local businesses.
The first event, running through the month of September, is a series of interactive art displays set up on the windows and exterior walls of eight downtown businesses. Each of the locations has used blue painter’s tape to create makeshift stained glass designs on their business’ exterior and provided window markers or chalk for pedestrians in the downtown area to color them in.
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Among the participating businesses are Junction on 70, Solgarden, Impulsive Creativity, Edward Jones, Clay Street Printing & Signs, Dick & Jane’s Martini Bar, Clay Street Tavern & Provisions and Coldwell Banker HPW. The businesses are all members of Downtown Destination Mebane Inc.
Sugaree Thornton with Destination Downtown Mebane said the interactive art displays are designed to “let people know that the stores are still open, even if they’re open limited hours.”
“We’re here and we do need the community’s help to keep these doors open,” Thornton said.
Thornton said the ability to participate in a fun activity while maintaining social distancing was a draw for this type of event.
“It’s a way to get people downtown but maybe not all at one time,” she explained. “During COVID, art has been a thing that people have turned to. … It’s comforting.”
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The event was inspired by Dick & Jane’s Martini Bar who created a martini bar design earlier this year. The project bloomed from that inspiration and more businesses got involved, Thornton said.
“It was really nice to see people come out … and visit downtown,” she said. “Even though they couldn’t shop, they could still interact with the business.”
Designs started going up over the Labor Day weekend, and the event is planned to last all month.
“Depending on how fast things get colored or how popular it is, maybe the designs might change,” Thornton said.
All ages are welcome to participate.
The second event is another month-long exhibit planned for October in which historical posters will be set up throughout the downtown area to create a walking tour.
“We’ll put up posters in each of the buildings – it’s a whole lot more buildings and business that participate – so we put up these posters and people can check out the history of the building,” Thornton said. “I think we’re going to do some more historical figures from Mebane.”
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The posters will be on display so community members can view them during business hours or after closing time if that makes them feel safer.
“It’s just another thing we can do to draw interest downtown but not have a huge crowd of people at one time,” she said.