The Baker Orange

Event to familiarize BU students with downtown

Story by Jenna Stanbrough

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The Baker community is invited to attend a downtown event Sept. 28, which will feature a free barbecue, a beer garden and a performance by the band, Sellout.

The event is sponsored by the city of Baldwin City, Mid-America Bank and the Baldwin City Economic Development Corporation.

The first 500 people will receive a free meal catered by Antonucci’s Italian Ristorante and Sandbar Subs in Lawrence. Proceeds from the beer garden will go toward the Lumberyard Arts Center. The barbecue starts at 6:30 p.m. and Sellout will begin at 8 p.m. between the 600 and 700 blocks of High Street.

“Basically, from an economic development standpoint, the city and our economic development group have always wanted to do something to try to … enhance our downtown in terms of getting people downtown,” Dave Hill, director of the Baldwin City Economic Development Corporation, said.

Peach Madl, owner of the Lodge in Baldwin City, said this event is the perfect way to celebrate after the BU football team faces Avila University at home on Family Day.

“We changed the time so the band doesn’t start until 8 (p.m.) so that after the football game, we’re hoping to encourage a lot of Baker parents and fans from the football game to come down because the music will play until at least 11,” Madl said. “So, it will be a great celebration, too, after the Baker game.”

Sellout is a cover band from the Lawrence area whose members dress in character while performing.

“I’d call it a 1980s cover band, and they’re really kind of a fun dance band out of Lawrence and Kansas City, and they’re pretty familiar in Lawrence and Kansas City,” Hill said. “People up there will know them. They’re just fun dance music.”

City Commissioner Chris Lowe said the event is an effort by the Economic Development Corporation to bring awareness to Baldwin City’s downtown businesses and services.

“What we like to do is try to show off our downtown, because it is beautiful and we also love our businesses down here, as we do on the highway, but we want to try and give those folks down here a little bit more foot traffic,” Lowe said. “So, we’d like to just raise awareness of what businesses are downtown. … (We) would like to make sure folks come down and enjoy a night of small town community life and have some fun and get to see some Baker students.”

In addition, Hill said another major idea of the event is to unite Baker students and the rest of the community in the downtown area.

“We really want the Baker students to come to our downtown and we want them to have fun, become familiar,” Hill said. “Basically it’s just trying to get our Baker students and our community to get better acquainted with our downtown.”