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Herrin Starts a New Image Campaign

You may have heard of the Hill in St. Louis, a sort of Little Italy. Now Herrin wants to bring out its Italian Heritage with the Hill in Herrin Campaign. This is a brand new campaign that's just getting its feet wet. But already several businesses are on board. They're hoping that a redesign of main street will help drive more business to its downtown.

On a cold and rainy day, anyone passing through Herrin might only see a few store fronts as they drive by, completely missing the town's allure. But residents say all you have to do is step inside any one of Herrin's restaurants and boutiques to find the kind of charm only found in old, small towns.

So Herrin businesses are teaming up in a new PR campaign to change the town's image. The Hill in Herrin campaign mimics the successful one in St. Louis that promotes its Italian heritage to drive business to the district.

"Well we have a lot of restaurants moving into the area and a lot of boutiques. And I just thought it was a great opportunity for us to discover Herrin's Italian Heritage," says Beth Walker with SI Business Solutions.

SI Business Solutions is company behind the image campaign. Sales Manager, Beth Walker, says revitalizing the town could bring some much needed revenue to the downtown area.

"I really think in the past ten years or so, Herrin has really put a lot of time and energy and money into sort of reviving itself," explains Barry Vesciglio." And I think that unless people have come through here, they may not realize that, but I think the word is getting around."

Vesciglio just opened the Annex café and says more traffic to the town would be wonderful.

"We would have the string lights, of course, just like Italy. We'd have the Italian flags, of course, flying. I like the old fashion lighting. I think that's beautiful, it's beautifies the town," says Walker.

That old time feel is exactly what Girolamo Pizzeria owner, Jimmy Humphrey says is missing. It's those good memories growing up in Herrin that even led him to buying the long-time pizza shop.

"We used to come in and the old man Girolamo, he'd be throwing the dough up in the air and singing. You couldn't understand what he was saying, but it was a cool little environment when I was younger," remembers Humphrey.

And Humphrey says he looks forward to seeing what this new campaign can do and serving a few more pizzas.

Herrin Mayor, Vic Ritter, will announce a proclamation, kick-starting the Hill of Herrin campaign, Monday night at the city council meeting. We have a link to the new campaign website, filled with restaurants, boutiques, and coupons at the top of this page.

- Article & Video Courtesy of WSIL TV3
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