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Main Street pride

Gig Harbor hosts Veteran’s Banner Project

The Veteran’s Banner Project honors Gig Harbor-connected veterans. Photo courtesy Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance

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The pride a city has in itself is almost always found on Main Street.

A generic pair of words used to denote the primary retail street of a town or small city, Main Street is usually comprised of shops and retailers that form the city's central business district.

But more than that, Main Street is also a place in which to honor military veterans, and in this pursuit Gig Harbor is noteworthy.

"We honor and appreciate our local heroes," said Mary DesMarais, the executive director of the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance (GHDWA).

The GHDWA is a nationally accredited Main Street Program with a mission to promote and support the historic and commercial core along Gig Harbor's downtown waterfront.

To do this, the GHDWA puts on retail and merchant events, hosts a farmers market, offers walking tours of the downtown and waterfront areas, and provides merchant training workshops to help ensure the economic viability of the downtown area.

But the GHDWA is very aware that much of that viability is due to the community members who have served in the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard.

"We wanted to take the opportunity to honor those with connections to Gig Harbor who have served our country and preserved our freedoms," continued DesMarais.

To this end, the GHDWA partnered with the City of Gig Harbor in 2018 to launch the Veteran's Banner Project.

The effort resulted in 24 banners bearing the picture of a veteran. The banners were hung in the heart of the city's Main Street District.

This year's project promises to be bigger.

"We have room for 38 to 40 banners," explained DesMarais. 

"They are selected on a first-come, first-served basis. If we get a huge response, those banners will be hung in other areas of Gig Harbor."

Applications to sponsor a banner are available at the Alliance Office and at the information booth at the Waterfront Farmers Market, Thursdays from 1-7 p.m. through the end of August.

To create a banner, sponsors should provide a high-quality digital photograph of the veteran in uniform. If a digital copy is not available, the Alliance will digitize the image and return it.

The cost per banner is $200; each banner is three-and-a-half feet in length and 21 inches in width. The funds raised through the sale of the banners pays for production costs; any remaining funds go directly to support the "Race For A Soldier" event and the Permission to Start Dreaming (PTSD) Foundation.

The banners will grace the Main Street area of Gig Harbor from mid-September through late November. After that time, the banners will be made available to the families.

"As I have indicated," concluded DesMarais, "we truly do honor and appreciate our heroes."

For more information, visit the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance: 3311 Harborview Dr., Suite 101; call 253.514.0071, or send an email to

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