Local campaign aims to “Keep BG Weird”

The local based campaign, Keep BG Weird, aims to celebrate the unique nature and diversity of Bowling Green. “We love that this city is a weird small melting pot and that you can take a bike ride down the street and see some crazy stuff,” Brad Anthony, co-founder of Keep BG Weird, said.

Laurel Deppen

Keep BG Weird, a campaign that has now become a brand, is gaining attention in the Bowling Green community.

“I’m weird,” Sydney Doose wrote in a direct message from Keep BG Weird. “You’re weird. Let’s be weird together.”

The campaign was inspired by similar “weird” campaigns in Louisville and Austin, Texas. The mission of Keep BG Weird is to celebrate local artisans, restaurants and eclectic shops – everything that makes Bowling Green unique.

Brad Anthony, originally from Mississippi, is one of the founders of the campaign. He recalled what he referred to as a “coffee shop meet and greet” with several other men, including Bowling Green local Derek Sabiston. Anthony said Sabiston brought up the idea of starting the campaign.

“Just to kind of embrace where our city was going,” Anthony said. “He felt like there was a lot more artists popping up, that the downtown area was starting to be more stimulated than before.”

Anthony said they wanted to celebrate a “new energy” that local business and artists represented. He said they wanted to provide these artisans with a club for them to be a part of. Later, the idea became a brand.

Anthony said Sabiston drew a version of the fountain in Fountain Square Park and made the design into stickers. After that, Anthony said he decided to order the design on pint glasses. The brand now sells stickers, lapel pins, shirts, mugs and glasses.

Doose is studying corporate communications and marketing. She works for Keep BG Weird as a WKU representative. She said she spends her time promoting the brand on social media and in person by engaging with students and asking them what they think about the brand.

Though she was born in New Mexico, Doose said she moved to Bowling Green when she was five and considers it her hometown.

Doose said even though she’s lived in Bowling Green for most of her life, she still sees things she’s never seen before. She emphasized that not everyone can say that about where they live.

“If you dig deep enough, you can find some really crazy and amazing things,” she said.

Anthony said that one of his main goals for the campaign is to encourage people to stay in Bowling Green. Anthony included himself in that group. He said he lived in Louisville for five years before returning to Bowling Green.

Now in his thirties, he said he wants to stay here.

“I was part of it,” Anthony said. “Something about this city, nobody sticks around … they would do their three or four years here and contribute and stimulate, and right when it seemed like there was hope, they would just take off. I’ve never been able to figure out what that is.”

Anthony also emphasized that he wanted the campaign to teach people what was cool. He said that several members of the original group that started the campaign were fathers.

“We wanted to teach dads how to be cool,” Anthony said. “We wanted to tell guys that just because you’re 35, you don’t have to be corny, you can still be super cool.”

Anthony emphasized that to him, Bowling Green is cool. He said he had no idea the city would be so special to him.

“I like Bowling Green,” he said. “It’s cool. It’s weird. I want to see where it goes. I want to be a part of it.”

Features reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]