EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – We haven’t had too much rain this summer in the Valley. There hasn’t been a big need to pull out an umbrella, but in East Liverpool, umbrellas now have a purpose beyond protecting you from the rain.
Around 30 umbrellas now hang high above Dawson Way alley. The East Liverpool Garden Club is the heart behind the project. President Mary Beth Gill got the idea while on vacation.
“There’s a similar situation going on in Dunedin, Florida where they have umbrellas hanging, and while we were there, my husband said, ‘why can’t we do something like this in our community,'” Gill said.
The club raised all the funds to make Umbrella Alley. They sold name tags to be hung on each umbrella, some representing a graduating class, others honoring a lost loved one.
Tables and chairs also sit in the alley, providing relaxing shade and a great photo opportunity.
“It adds beauty to the architecture that’s already here. I think there are just beautiful buildings that are already here and this adds so much charm,” said garden club member Rebecca Lang.
Many believe this will help the revitalization of the city. Garden Club President Lisa Chronister said the display will bring others to the city.
“East Liverpool, Ohio is really a hidden gem. Not only will this community enjoy it, but it will be enjoyed by people from all over the state because it’s all free,” she said.
“I tell you, this just what we were hoping it was going to be–a bright spot in the downtown, in our community,” said garden club member Christa McIntosh.
For 91-year-old East Liverpool native Gini Jackson, Umbrella Alley boosts her hometown pride. She wants everyone to see it.
“I mean, wouldn’t you be proud to be from East Liverpool to see all of this happen? It’s just wonderful,” she said.
Eight more rows of umbrellas will be added later this summer.