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Blackfoot murals bring life back to downtown area

Downtown Blackfoot is getting a bit of a facelift. Local businesses are coming together to bring murals to the walls of downtown buildings.

“It’s bringing Blackfoot back to life,” Geri Bloom, owner of the Tumbleweed Saloon, said. “It’s been gone for 10 years.”

The businesses of Blackfoot have a plan to revitalize downtown.

“I’m hoping that the buildings will be filled again with things that will keep people in town to where it’s a place to come to instead of a place to go away from,” Bloom said.

The first part of the project consists of historical murals ranging from the late 1800’s to the 1980’s. While they contain national and historical events, residents of Blackfoot could see some familiar faces.

“Many of the murals have local people,” Ginette Manwaring, member of the Downtown Business Development group, said. “And we expect that many of our local residents will recognize familiar faces in them if they spend time watching.”

The next part of the project will be window displays of the historical period along with cars from the period parked outside. The ultimate goal is to have a decade by decade walking tour. The area has already seen positive changes since the project began.

“We’d seen a lot of businesses leaving,” Stephanie Pitman, owner of Downtown Bread Company, said. “Once we started to get murals painted and different activities downtown, we have seen four new businesses, just in the last three months.”

The project is not only bringing people to Blackfoot, but it’s bringing the local businesses together as well.

“You should always have a little town that should have that family feeling,” Bloom said. “And it hasn’t been here for a while and I see it coming back together.”

The next phase of the project is set to be completed before next summer.

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