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Getting the word on the street

Al Edenloff | Echo Press Workers from Larry Steidl's Tree Service installed a banner the Alexandria Sertoma Club purchased to promote its Ice Fishing Challenge. The new space for banners stretches across North Broadway, between the Runestone Museum and Probuild.

Here's a whole new way to get the word out about your community event: Rent banner space.

The Runestone Museum in Alexandria recently received money to set up a banner display area over North Broadway near its office.

This is the same spot where the city displayed its "Merry Christmas" holiday decoration.

With proceeds from the Alexandria Hotel and Hospitality's lodging tax and in-kind labor from Alexandria Light and Power (ALP), the museum was able to pay the $5,000 cost of installing the new banner system. This includes the poles and cables the banners hang from.

The Alexandria Sertoma Club was the first organization to give it a try with a banner that announces its Ice Fishing Challenge set for February 12 on Lake Agnes.

The banner was put in place last Wednesday.

A committee has been working on the banner idea for more than a year and includes Kevin Mahoney, a member of ALP's Board of Public Works; retired ALP general manager Dave Nelson; Sara Stadtherr, executive director of AHH; and Julie Blank, museum director.

Mahoney and Blank said the highly visible spot in downtown Alexandria just north of Broadway and 3rd Avenue should easily catch the eye of passing motorists.

There are specific rules and guidelines for purchasing the banner space, including how long a banner may be displayed.

Non-profit groups will be charged a nominal fee of $25 a week while other groups or businesses will pay $50 per week.

The organization that is displaying a banner must also pay to put the banner up and to take it down. The museum has a list of approved installers and banner makers.

Those interested in the banner opportunity should stop by the museum to fill out an application form or call (320) 763-3160.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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