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DeLand twirls with signs

DeLand is a blue ribbon city. The winner of Florida's Best Small Town, it's now a contender for the U.S. Best Main Street, sponsored by Parade magazine. Here's a suggestion for another contest that DeLand, and surrounding DeBary and Orange City, would really win- The Best Twirling Sign contest.

Take a drive down 17-92 into town with a tourista, and I bet they ask about those sign twirlers. Not all towns have such talented twirlers of business signs. In my hometown of Wilmington, DE, there's no sign of them.

It's 100 degrees, yet someone is standing nearing the street, holding a business sign. There are kids holding them, old folks holding them, clowns, kings, andcows holding them. People twirling signs, dancing with them, marching to some beat blaring in their earbud, while moving the sign up and down, all in the name of guerrilla marketing.

At first, the signs were arrow-shaped, but lately, the sign wars have heated up, with much bigger signs. There's no sign of what's next.

I often think about counting how many there are on the route into town, and

wonder how much it pays. And how much sunscreen they should wear.

I worry because it's really all my fault. I brought the sign idea to DeLand. I'm

flattered my idea was so embraced, with lots of small businesses employing it. I sure wish it had royalty money attached, or I could have patented or trademarked it.

Several years ago, I read a marketing article on the next best marketing idea-signs! Cheap, easy, different. Involved in community theater at the time, we spent a couple of bucks getting small "play tonight at the Sands Theater" signs made. It was a sign of the times that that sign idea fizzled.

Fast forward years, and now signs are prolific. Signs advertise every kind of

business- gold, windows, and cheating spouses. The twirlers grab my eye as

these guerrilla marketers add a colorful, personal touch to the energy of our streets.

DeLand is a twirling sign town. Another blue ribbon won.

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