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April 2, 2013

State bus tour highlights community

MILLEDGEVILLE —  

Downtown Milledgeville is one of the stops on the 2013 Georgia Cities Heart and Soul Bus Tour. The tour will make its way to town from 1 until 2:20 p.m. Wednesday.  

The public is invited to come out and welcome the visitors together with city officials, business leaders and the Milledgeville Mainstreet staff as they arrive downtown at Allen’s Market. 

“We’ve got things planned to make it exciting, and we want people to come out to welcome everyone,” Mainstreet director Carlee Schulte said.

The Georgia Municipal Association and the Georgia Cities Foundation sponsor the Heart and Soul Bus Tour with a goal to educate and inform state agency heads, business leaders, downtown developers and philanthropists on the importance of successful downtown development as well as revitalization.

This is the second time Milledgeville has been a tour stop, since the foundation began the tours in 2001. Schulte said it’s been 11 years since the tour came through.

“It’s been a long time coming, so that’s why I think it’s really important that we give a good impression of our community and make them see that there is opportunity here and we are growing,” Schulte said.

Each year, the Georgia Cities Foundation selects cities to participate based on their efforts to create vibrant and strong communities as well as successful examples of public and private rehabilitation with an emphasis on historic preservation. The 2013 bus tour also includes the downtown programs in the cities of Eatonton, Macon, Hawkinsville, Columbus, West Point, LaGrange, Newnan and Carrolton. 

Jane Sowell, executive director of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the tour is all positive attention and that it’s important to have a charming downtown to showcase for visitors.

“It’s a great time for us to showcase everything that Milledgeville has to offer. (Schulte) put together a terrific tour, and I think we have a lot to show them,” Sowell said. “It can only help us really. It shows that we are mindful of what we have here and how we protect and want to preserve it.”

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