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Council told new 'kids' in town will help grow support for Northampton farmers market

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Dec 07 2012 09:55:56 AM CST
Goat topiary
NORTHAMPTON, Pa. -

An unusual idea to grow support for a farmers market in Northampton was presented to borough council Thursday night.

The lynchpin of the plan presented by Carol Simcoe is a goat topiary called "Konkrete Kid," named in honor of the high school's sports teams. The topiary will be decorated with an orange and black ribbon representing the school's colors and have a concrete base, Simcoe said.

"These are the new kids in town," said Simcoe with a smile as she showed a miniature version of the topiary to council members, who encouraged Simcoe to go ahead with the plan.

Simcoe, owner of the Simcoe Gallery at 1925 Main St., explained how merchants in the so-called uptown section of Main Street would use life-size goat topiaries to bring foot traffic to the area -- similar to the way life-size fiberglass mules were used to promote various downtown areas in eastern Pennsylvania -- and to get people and children interested in growing things.

That, she said, would create interest in a farmers market that she and other merchants would like to eventually open on an empty lot in the
1900 block of Main Street.

Simcoe said about eight to 10 merchants would begin growing the topiaries in their storefront windows in January using "all kinds of ivy."

The merchants would enlist children to help in designing and cultivating the topiaries, said Simcoe, and the topiaries would eventually be moved outside the merchants' businesses. Simcoe said that a contest with prizes would be held sometime during the summer.

Simcoe told council why she believes the topiaries will work as a marketing tool: "If you involve children, the parents will come to town."