Palmerton's downtown business district has been spruced up thanks to the addition of 40 banners that commemorate its namesake.

The banners were erected Tuesday afternoon, and are displayed along the one-mile-long stretch of Delaware Avenue, the community hub of the borough.

Blue in color, with a hint of red and white, the banners include the words "Welcome to Palmerton" with a depiction of the bandstand and the legend Inc. 1912.

Peter Kern, president of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce, said the banners are in honor of the celebration of the centennial of the incorporation of the borough on Oct. 14, 2012.

"We've begun the centennial year a little early," Kern said. "This is the first of many celebratory events we have scheduled for 2011-2012."

The new banners – which replace ones that are a decade old – were designed by Rileighs Inc., of Allentown, said Kern, who added that the design was approved by members of the chamber and Palmerton Area Historical Society.

Kern said the old banners may be purchased. Those interested may call the historical society at (610) 824-6954.

The chamber and historical society have planned several activities in anticipation of the centennial.

A centennial celebration kick-off dinner will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, at Blue Ridge Country Club in Palmerton. Social hour starts at 6 p.m. The guest speaker will be J. Brooks Joyner, president of the Allentown Art Museum.

Also, Kern said an organ concert will be held at the Little White Church sometime in November.

Other proposed events include a 5K Run/Walk in May of 2012; a Rolling Cruise in June; a Special Band Concert in July; a Private Label wine, cheese, and ethnic food sampling in August; the Community Festival in September of next year; an event to exhume a 1987 Time Capsule and bury a new one next October, and a Gala Celebration to start the borough's second century that November.

The borough was officially incorporated on Oct. 14, 1912. The year 1998 marked the centennial of the founding of the borough.