Manning Mayor Harvey Dales (left) and Main Street Manning president Ron Reischl say the “It’s Refreshing” banners now up on Main Street are key in an overall push to brand the community and distinguish it from other cities. Daily Times Herald photos by Douglas Burns
Manning Mayor Harvey Dales (left) and Main Street Manning president Ron Reischl say the “It’s Refreshing” banners now up on Main Street are key in an overall push to brand the community and distinguish it from other cities. Daily Times Herald photos by Douglas Burns
March 1, 2013



MANNING - Main Street in Manning is bursting with Madison Avenue-sized ambition for the marketing of this southwestern Carroll County city.

The town of 1,500 people has a brand, carefully cultivated phrasing and images aimed at creating an inviting sensation.

Manning, It's Refreshing!

In recent weeks, the city has hoisted 22 decorative banners, reflecting life, commerce and the people of Manning, past and present, on the Main Street streetlight poles. Another 15 poles are expected to be decorated with banners soon on Main Street.

"It's just eye-appeal and getting people involved," said Mayor Harvey Dales.

The banners, designed locally and produced by the Northern Lights company in Eden Prairie, Minn., cost sponsors $375 for three years of placement. Manning will replace them for three months each holiday season - November through January - with banners celebrating the Christmas spirit.

Funds raised go toward Manning comprehensive branding campaign, which is squarely aimed at distinguishing the city from other rural Iowa communities.

"Oftentimes, Manning people really don't know how good they have it," said Ron Reischl, president of the Main Street Manning Board.

Reischl dedicated a banner north of the Manning Regional Healthcare Center to his parents, Ed and Irene Reischl. It features an iconic rural setting with the sun setting behind the city's water tower.

If demand for more banners develops, Main Street Manning leaders will look at placing them along Highway 141 and on other streets in the city.

Main Street Manning and other community leaders gathered last summer in their city's Veterans of Foreign Wars hall to roll out the brand, the culmination of two years of efforts involving dozens of Manning advocates.

The branding project started as an effort to refresh the community's website. And that's a key component of the end product as community leader Nancy Puck worked with her sister, Mary, to develop the website - www.ManningIA.com. It's packed with information and easily navigable. The Manning banners are available for viewing on the website.