Marianna applies for HGTV's "Hometown Takeover"

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Feb. 12, 2020 at 6:41 PM CST
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A Wiregrass city is looking for a bit of a face-lift from professionals with HGTV.

Marianna, Florida is one of several communities submitting a video application for "Hometown Takeover."

The show is looking for cities “with less than 40,000 people that have historical architecture and a main street that needs a facelift.”

It's been 15 months since Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida Panhandle.

One of the unfortunate cities in the storm's way - Marianna.

“We all went through this huge devastation, Hurricane Michael, and we've come a long way since the storm,” said Marianna Professional Photographer Meghan Basford.

Meghan Basford and a group from Marianna High School saw that HGTV was looking for video submissions for a new show called "Hometown Takeover."

They thought it might be the perfect way to continue the city's recovery process.

"I'm always on the lookout for really cool creative projects for my students to do that give back to our community,” said Marianna High School Media Specialist LuAnne Law. “It's not just an assignment. It's something that they can learn a lot from."

One student in particular, senior Isaiah Long, worked on the project as part of an independent study.

"I learned that our small businesses are a lot more important than we think they are, and we really take locals owning businesses for granted,” said Long.

Meghan Basford felt that too, and realized the video was about more than getting HGTV to Marianna.

"As we started the process and started really filming and getting to know some of these business owners better than we already do, we understood there was a much bigger mission behind it, and that is just to show our citizens and our community how far we've already come,” said Basford.

Now, Marianna will just have to wait and see if HGTV will take them the rest of the way.

Meghan said they may use the video as a marketing tool for the town or as a way to reach out to state legislators for more storm recovery funding.

Marianna's hometown takeover video has received more than 22,000 views on YouTube.

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