During the Annual Awards Ceremony of the Georgia Downtown Conference, The Georgia Downtown Association recognized The Baxter Dean Runway Show and City of Calhoun as the Downtown Excellence-Best Promotion of the Year. The ceremony was held Wednesday night, Aug. 23, at the Springer Opera House in Columbus.
Promotions and events are a vital part of a thriving downtown economy. They are perhaps the most recognized part of the Main Street approach by the people in a community.
For five years, Andy Baxter and Hanna Dean, owners of Baxter Dean Studio in downtown Calhoun, have organized a runway fashion show that floods the streets with hundreds of guests. This fundraising event donates all profits to a local non-profit organization and are used to fund scholarships for the local high school seniors who are the stars of the show. In 2017, the total profits exceeded $50,000 and each year the beneficiary changes.
This year’s show featured over one hundred models from about 15 different high schools in Northwest Georgia and Tennessee. Each of them wear clothing purchased from downtown boutiques. Baxter Dean creates a full-scale catwalk, closes Court Street and the sidewalk is even lined with premier seating and bleachers. A professional light and sound company handles backdrops, lighting, music and energy. The theme was “Crimes of Fashion” and students are emcees of the event.
Baxter Dean Studio in downtown Calhoun is a tremendous partner in all local events and promotes downtown businesses in Calhoun while raising money for worthy causes.
As the premier event on downtown development and historic preservation in the state, the Georgia Downtown Conference promotes downtown and economic development through public awareness, governmental relations and education.
Pictured left to right: Suzanne Roberts, director of Downtown Development, Hanna Dean and Andy Baxter.