Beauty is blooming throughout Hatboro’s downtown.
About 175 flower baskets were recently hung on light poles up and down York Road, a joint venture of Main Street Hatboro and the annual Toy Train Show.
In all, the flowers, water and plant food cost roughly $6,000, according to Main Street Hatboro President Bob Johnston. Half of the funding came from Main Street - Hatboro's nonprofit downtown revitalizing arm - and the rest was generated from December’s Toy Train Show.
Al Wipplinger, owner of Village Hardware and Hobbies, founded the toy train show, and, at the same time five years ago, decided to start contributing proceeds from it to Main Street.
“What they told me at the time was ‘you’re crazy and it’ll never work,’ ” recalled Wipplinger, who had served as Main Street Hatboro president.
But, after dedicating just shy of $20,000 to the cause – an amount Johnston described as “serious money” - Wipplinger said board members no longer call him crazy. They instead see him as an “aggressive guy” who gets stuff done.
In addition to the flower baskets, proceeds from the Toy Train Shows have funded Main Street Hatboro banners, American flag banners and mulch, Johnston said.
“It’s old-school type stuff, traditional Hatboro stuff,” Johnston said. “It’s a beautification for the town.”
And, apparently the beautification bug has bitten others outside of Hatboro, according to Main Street Hatboro Manager Stephen Barth.
“Somebody from three towns over sent us $200 because they loved the flowers,” Barth said.