BAY COUNTY, Fla (WMBB) — Businesses in Downtown Panama City are getting creative for a good cause.
The Downtown Improvement Board, Destination Panama City, and downtown businesses all collaborated together for a hay bale trail.
“It brings people to downtown, The Press Owner Kevin Mitchell said. “Hopefully it will give them something to have fun with our fall festival and during this time of year. Getting people out of the house and getting them exposed to what we have in Downtown Panama City.”
The Hay Bale Trail is comprised of 21 hay bales spread throughout Downtown Panama City from 8th Street to McKenzie park.
Downtown businesses each chose a local non-profit of their choice to sponsor and partnered with them to decorate a hay bale.
“These are some amazing non-profits down here we have teamed up with to do this stuff with and we really want to raise the awareness for the nonprofits in our area, to try to support them,” Mitchell said. “Most of the non-profits we have teamed up with to do this are actually all local non-profits.”
Downtown leaders encourage people to come by, grab a ballot, and donate to one of the non-profits.
Each ballot has the name of the business, the name of the non-profit, and the title of the hay bale.
“People need to pick up a map and after they see all the bales in different locations they can use the backside to vote for their favorite. We are asking people to vote with a donation. All the money that comes in is given directly to the non-profit,” said Development Improvement Board Member Catherine Shores.
To vote and donate you can drop off your ballot in the jars at any of the participating locations downtown.
Owner of Wild Grace Kristen Wilson decorated a peace-themed hay bale with Girls Inc.
“I think it’s something nice to have down here,” Wilson said. “To kind of get the community involved and also help get businesses together, working together, and then also working with non-profits.”
Trustmark Bank gave their hay bales a fun spin.
“Trustmark Bank did an awesome little display of menacing minions who have broken in and robbed the bank. So it’s fun I’m really happy with how people have embraced the project,” Shores said.
Some of the non-profits included are Girls Inc., Lavished Ministries, Anchorage Children’s Home, the Lynn Haven Animal Shelter, and more.
The winner of the hay bale competition will be announced on October 30, during the fall festival at the Center For The Arts.