For the second year in a row, Independent We Stand has awarded more than $25,000 in cash and prizes, plus a brag-worthy title, to one deserving Main Street program. The America’s Main Streets contest celebrates local communities across the country, while recognizing the groups working to keep them vibrant. This year, MainStreet DeLand of DeLand, Florida, claimed the top spot in IWS’ America’s Main Streets contest.
Situated about 30 miles north of Orlando, DeLand is one of Florida’s “small-town treasures.” The city is home to about 27,000 residents and the historic campus of Stetson University. MainStreet DeLand has served the community for more than 30 years, blending the city’s historic roots with the 21st century. The award-winning Main Street program organizes regular events, such as a growers and makers market and small business meetings. MainStreet DeLand was even the first program in Florida to earn the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street designation.
“MainStreet DeLand has worked long and hard to reinvigorate the downtown. At one point over half of the downtown buildings were vacant. Now it is clearly the pride and joy of the community.” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “The purpose of the America’s Main Streets contest is to highlight the type of leadership and longstanding commitment to community that MainStreet DeLand provides.”
As the contest’s ultimate winner, MainStreet DeLand will receive $25,000 cash, plus a series of prizes intended to make community revitalization easier.
Additionally, MainStreet DeLand will work with Independent We Stand on a “Main Streets Make Us Better” event. The event will take place on July 1, during DeLand’s annual Firecracker Festival. The Main Street-themed event will give the local community an opportunity to celebrate the contest win and reenergize its support for the downtown program.
The full article appears on independentwestand.org.