Main Street Alabama celebrated local program successes at the eighth annual Awards of Excellence the evening before Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed Aug. 20 Main Street Alabama Day. The day recognizes the efforts of the organization that is focused on creating jobs and keeping character in communities across the state.
During the Awards of Excellence program, Main Street Alabama’s President and State Coordinator Mary Helmer Wirth honored projects and individuals that made tremendous impacts in their respective communities. Alabama Municipal Electric Authority sponsored the event that was held at The Venue at Coosa Landing in Gadsden.
Tim Brannon, Public Works director, accepted the Main Street Hero award, John Mott accepted the Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation award for the Mott Building, and Ann Sparks accepted the Excellence in Promotion award for the Main Street Eufaula’s Pajama Party.
“It’s an honor to recognize these outstanding community projects, leaders and volunteers,” Wirth said. “The award winners represent the resiliency of downtown and commercial neighborhood districts in spite of a challenging year. Main Street programs were instrumental in helping small businesses navigate through closures due to the pandemic and helping them to reopen safely with outdoor eating options, hand sanitizing stations, foot door pulls, masks and more. The effort and leadership it takes to move these projects quickly is tremendous.”
The Awards of Excellence Banquet is a highlight of LAB, a three-day conference that bolsters the efforts of communities participating in the nationally acclaimed Main Street program or those communities interested in downtown revitalization. The eighth annual event drew over 150 community leaders from Alabama.
Main Street Alabama has 29 Designated Programs and over 30 Downtown Network Communities. Alexander City, Anniston, Athens, Atmore, Birmingham’s Historic 4th Ave Business District, Calera, Columbiana, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Enterprise, Eufaula, Florence, Foley, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Headland, Heflin, Jasper, Marion, Monroeville, Montevallo, Opelika, Oxford, Scottsboro, South Huntsville, West Huntsville and Wetumpka each have Designated Programs and new communities will be added annually. Application workshops will be held in January for communities interested in becoming a Designated Program will be available in spring 2022. Until then, communities interested in downtown revitalization can participate in Main Street Alabama’s Downtown Network.
Main Street Alabama focuses on bringing jobs, dollars and people back to Alabama’s historic communities. Economic development is at the heart of our efforts to revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.