A decade has passed since Garden City Downtown Vision launched its Banner Art program.

The fundraiser that benefits Downtown Vision programs continues to grow and impress.

As one of many initiatives of Downtown Vision, the Banner Art program is emblematic of strategies designed to make the historic downtown district a more appealing venue.

Whether it’s in window displays, good sidewalks or other features such as colorful street banners, the year-long goal is to create an inviting atmosphere downtown, and for good reason: Studies of consumer habits show spending increases when shopping districts improve their look.

Those who attend this year’s annual Banner Art Auction will be able to peruse a good selection of banners on the selling block. The Banner Art effort has more than doubled over the years, with this year’s project featuring 21 artists and 46 hand painted banners.

The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at The Clarion. For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, call the Downtown Vision office at (620) 276-0891, or go online to gcdowntown.com.

This time around, the creative works of art feature subjects well known to southwest Kansas — sunflowers, buffalo, cattle and the like — along with an impressive array of other whimsical characters and designs.

Whether it’s street banners or more permanent structures, good public art — and there’s a nice sampling downtown and elsewhere in the community — is much more than something attractive to admire. It enriches a community and shows visitors that residents care about their home.

Art also has great educational value in igniting curiosity among children and adults and inspiring them to do great things, making it worthy of public support.

Beyond creating an attractive, welcoming physical environment, Downtown Vision also organizes many good events, and continually pursues strategies to draw more people downtown.

The program depends on numerous thoughtful initiatives to pull together a comprehensive revitalization strategy designed to ward off erosion and grow the downtown district. Such artful endeavors as the Banner Auction help in paying dividends beyond what’s raised when the art is offered for sale.

Saturday’s Banner Art Auction will provide a colorful reminder of as much.