Opelika was awarded six prestigious Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence during the 2022 Main Street Alabama LAB Conference.

During the Awards of Excellence program, Main Street Alabama’s President and State Coordinator, Mary Helmer Wirth, and Assistant State Coordinator, Trisha Black, honored projects and individuals that made tremendous impacts in their respective communities. Alabama Municipal Electric Authority sponsored the event. 

The Awards of Excellence recognized winners in the categories of Preservation, Historic Rehabilitation, Fundraising, Public Relations, Public/Private Partnerships, Business Development, Economic Impact, Adaptive Reuse, Promotion, Business Promotion, Marketing, Placemaking, Non-Historic Building Design and Planning & Public Space. Local Main Street programs also selected a Main Street Hero that honored an individual, business or organization that made an outstanding contribution to their program.

Opelika was awarded the following honors:

• Main Street Hero — Keep Opelika Beautiful

• Excellence in Placemaking — Opelika Main Street’s Industry On Track Sculpture Art Exhibit

• Excellence in Adaptive Reuse — CoLab

• Excellence in Historic Preservation — Historic Opelika Brochure/Digital Map

• Excellence in Fundraising — Opelika Main Street’s Grant Writing Efforts and

• Excellence in Public Relations — Opelika Main Street’s Downtown Housing Advocacy/Marketing.

“The Main Street approach works and downtown Opelika’s success is proof of that,” said Opelika Main Street Executive Director Ken Ward. “These prestigious awards show the strength of Opelika’s Main Street program and the success of downtown Opelika.”

“These programs represent small rural cities as well as larger, more urban communities,” Wirth said. “The diversity of these communities makes each one unique; each are working within their own capacity to improve, reinvigorate and revitalize their downtown or neighborhood commercial districts. We were inspired by local success stories and by the businesses, organizations and individuals who are dedicated to making their communities the best they can be.”

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 district revitalization. The ninth annual event drew more than 150 community leaders from Alabama. The 2022 awards banquet was held at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort Hotel & Spa at Grand National. 


Founded in 1987, Opelika Main Street assists in the growth of historic downtown Opelika through facade grants, beautification projects, small business assistance efforts and various community events. Learn more about Opelika Main Street by going to


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.