Painting the town festive

Published 10:41 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2013

There are many good reasons to come to downtown Suffolk. Renowned restaurants, eclectic shops, galleries with inspiring art, historic churches and homes, Suffolk’s main library and sidewalks busy with the commerce of a growing city all work together to create an atmosphere that welcomes both the occasional visitor and the daily commuter. And a growing number of people are finding the atmosphere to be the perfect place to call home.

Visitors, commuters and residents alike find the Christmas season to be one of the very best times to be in downtown Suffolk, and the work of a group of art students from the city’s public elementary, middle and high schools always serves to make the season even brighter.

Take a walk along the city’s downtown sidewalks sometime this month, and you’ll be greeted by festive holiday murals painted on many of the storefront windows, courtesy of those students, whose work on Tuesday and Thursday continued a years-long tradition of helping to spruce up the city’s core business district just in time for the holidays.

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Students’ theme this year was “Magic on Main Street,” though their work extends beyond Main Street and onto the windows of participating businesses on South Saratoga Street and Market Street.

The Suffolk News-Herald is a proud supporter of this program, and this year visitors to the newspaper’s offices will be greeted by seasonal depictions of snowmen, gingerbread men, a house and some Christmas lights, along with a happy little Christmas tree.

In keeping with the theme, one student painted something called an “automatic carrot machine” on a window at Suntrust Bank. That would be a handy device for completing snowmen if the city were to experience another rare snowstorm before New Year’s Day.

The project is a great partnership between Suffolk’s schools and its downtown businesses, and it gives students a wonderful opportunity to put their creativity on display for thousands of people every day. We are proud to be a part of such a great effort.