News brief: Main Street receives awards for excellence

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Special to the Opelika Observer

Opelika Main Street  earned statewide recognition and acclaim at a recent awards ceremony.

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and President and State Coordinator of Main Street Alabama Mary Helmer announced the recipients of the Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence. Montgomery hosted the two-day conference called aLABama Downtown Laboratory, a project of Main Street Alabama promoting the endeavors of communities actively involved in the nationally acclaimed Main Street program or the communities participating in the revitalization program.

Helmer expressed, “It’s an honor to recognize these outstanding community projects, leaders and volunteers. The award winners represent the most innovative downtown revitalization projects in our Main Street Alabama communities. The effort and leadership it takes to move these projects from concept through completion is tremendous, and we are thrilled to acknowledge such achievements. We are especially honored to be presenting these awards on Main Street Alabama Day, as proclaimed by Governor Bentley.”

Opelika Main Street, directed by Pam Powers-Smith, is a nationally-recognized program that uses a four-point approach to revitalize downtown areas. Main Street’s approach is unique because its guiding principles are different from other redevelopment strategies. These principles include a comprehensive approach, incremental projects, community involvement and a strong public/private partnership.

Opelika was the recipient of several awards:

ν Excellence in Business Promotion for On the Tracks – A Food & Wine Event

ν Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships with Opelika Cottonseed Studios

ν Award of Excellence for Best Overall Marketing Campaign for a downtown;

ν Main Street Alabama Community Award for Stacie Money, owner of Fringe.

“I hope all Opelikians are proud that their downtown was recognized,” Powers-Smith said. “With their support, this downtown has grown so much and come so far in the last ten years. Opelika Main Street will continue to work hard to improve and smartly grow our downtown so that everyone will continue to enjoy it.”

Main Street Alabama requested that the awards be made out of unique, historic, salvaged materials. The awards are made of a variety of mixed medias, such as black walnut used for the back of the award. Natural grain in the wood determined the shape of each award. Materials seen in a street scape are also incorporated into each award.

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.

“This award also goes to all the merchants and owners for their hard work,” Powers-Smith said.

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