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Posted on: August 6, 2019

Maryland’s First Heritage Area Rebrands as Passages of the Western Potomac Heritage Area

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August 6, 2019 – CUMBERLAND, MD – Maryland’s first heritage area announces rebranding as the Passages of the Western Potomac Heritage Area (PWPHA), formerly called Canal Place Heritage Area. Designated by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) as one of thirteen heritage areas in the state, the Passages of the Western Potomac Heritage Area is a place to experience – to see, hear, and even taste – an authentic piece of Maryland’s cultural and historical story in ways that you cannot experience anywhere else. The designation provides targeted financial and technical assistance to individuals, businesses, governments, and nonprofits to form partnerships that work to preserve Maryland’s unique heritage sites, unspoiled natural landscapes, and enduring traditions.

“We are so excited with the new brand,” says Deidra Ritchie, Executive Director for the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority and Executive Director of the PWPHA, “It fits perfectly with the mission of our heritage area, and it describes the important stories of our rivers, rails, trails, and roads that helped shape the region, and ultimately, America.”

The Passages of the Western Potomac Heritage Area includes the following physical attractions/features in the county: Canal Place Heritage Park, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, portions of the Historic National Road, the junction for the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath bike trails, sections of the downtown and historic districts of Frostburg and Cumberland, plus museums and historical landmarks. Through events and attractions, visitors can experience and learn more about America’s early transportation milestones as told through the heritage area’s narrative.

 “From a marketing standpoint, the former Canal Place Heritage Area brand was location-specific,” says Jessica Palumbo, Marketing and Sales Manager for Allegany County Tourism, “As the heritage area expanded to include more than just the Canal Place Heritage Park, we were looking for a brand that was inclusive of Allegany County’s overarching heritage story of transportation, motion, exploration, and the moving around of goods and cargo. Passages of the Western Potomac accomplishes that goal of tying together our attractions and assets, while also offering intrigue that appeals to visitors.”

The rebranding of the heritage area was a joint project between Allegany County Tourism and the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority. The rebranding was funded in part by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Marketing Grant, and the project was completed by creative agency Chandlerthinks, LLC, from Franklin, TN. For more information on the Passages of the Western Potomac Heritage Area, visit mdmountainside.com/heritage-area.

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