By Frank Lewis
The slogan “Where Southern Hospitality Begins,” is back on a new “Welcome to Portsmouth” sign on the floodwall in Portsmouth.
Community government and business leaders and citizens from around the area gathered Thursday afternoon at the Court Street Landing to unveil the new signage.
“I’ve always liked that (slogan),” Lisa Carver, director of the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, said. “I have always liked that little slogan and they decided, the two groups together, the Bicentennial Committee along with PALS (Portsmouth Area Ladies) decided to kind of revitalize that. They like that and they have the blessing of the city and City Council.”
Carver said the new sign is a collaborative effort.
“The Portsmouth Area Ladies had gone on a river cruise and they had noticed that a lot of cities had very prominent signs identifying their town,” Carver said. “They realized ours was getting a little aged, so they had approached Dave Stone, he was part of the Bicentennial Committee, and they got their heads together and they put in $5,000, the Bicentennial Committee had some funds from their fundraising efforts and this is the product.”
The group involved in the event took the time to thank Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen, Portsmouth City Council, and Michael Vermillion for finalizing the design with creative input from Gina Chabot and other Bicentennial Committee members.
“Portsmouth gets a bad rap,” Chip Maillet, vice president of the Portsmouth Bicentennial Committee, said. “We do a lot of good things here. There are wonderful people that are behind the scenes always doing things and people come from different areas and say ‘I wouldn’t want to live here,’ but we have river boats coming up and down the river, people passing by and we wanted to say, ‘hey, this is Portsmouth, Ohio,’ and with this image, a beautiful sign, we hope that it will make them want to stop here and come visit us.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.