Wetumpka has put itself on the map yet again as it continues to make a name for itself.
Out of over half a million submissions, HGTV chose the continuously growing city as its perfect location for its series “Home Town Takeover.” The cable network and Ben and Erin Napier, hosts of the series, chose the city from more than 2,600 other locations.
Officials from Main Street Wetumpka, the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Wetumpka were informed of the news by the Napiers via a video conference call.
Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis told the Napiers this is exactly what the city needs.
“We’re so excited,” Willis said. “Our city has come a long way, but you guys are going to be the catalyst that it takes to push us over the top.”
HGTV stated this is perhaps the network’s single biggest renovation undertaking ever.
In typical Wetumpka fashion, numerous officials and residents of the area came together Thursday evening at a watch party in downtown Wetumpka to see the Napiers make the announcement on the cable network and to celebrate the community.
“The only reason this happened is that there is a powerful relationship between the City of Wetumpka, the Elmore County Commission, Main Street Wetumpka and the Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce,” chamber executive director Shellie Whitfield said. “When so many people are selfless and share the same love and vision, amazing things happen.”
Whitfield said details as to the work that will take place in historic Wetumpka is unknown that this time.
“We know they are coming,” she said. “We do not know when they are coming or what they are doing yet. HGTV said they would let us know. As soon as we know we will let the community know.”
“Home Town Takeover” will enter its fifth season in 2021. The show details the Napiers’ efforts of restoring homes in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. The series is a six-part docuseries that will premiere on HGTV in 2021.
Whitfield believes this project is going to improve the future of downtown Wetumpka.
“Regardless of what they choose to do does not really matter,” she said. “We know that is going to forever change the trajectory of our community for the better.”
She expects the project will take four to five months to complete.
The city submitted a video last winter for the network’s consideration.
“We hope to show the community sometime what is in the video,” she said. “It really showed the flavor of our town and we waited. Then COVID-19 was here and we waited some more.”
Main Street Wetumpka executive director Jenny Stubbs has followed the Napiers’ work for some time.
“After becoming director of the newly organized Main Street Wetumpka in 2016, a friend of mine brought me an article about Erin, Ben and Laurel, Mississippi, and the phenomenal success being experienced there,” Stubbs said. “I saw Wetumpka as having the same potential and actually pinned the article to my whiteboard and have continued to be inspired by the work.”