Virginia Main Street Merit Award winners announced

virginia mapThe Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development announced recently the Virginia Main Street Merit Award winners at the 2018 Downtown Intersections in Harrisonburg.

The awards were given in seven merit areas celebrating excellence in downtown revitalization efforts and a $5,000 prize was offered for the winner of the first-ever Main Street Pitch Idea Competition.

“Boldness and ingenuity of community leaders and entrepreneurs were the catalysts that built these downtowns centuries ago, and that is what is continuing to drive our Virginia downtowns today,” said DHCD Director Erik Johnston. “In Virginia, the Main Street Approach creates environmentally, socially and economically sustainable downtown ecosystems, and we celebrate the success and hard work of our Virginia Main Street communities.”

In addition to the merit awards, Virginia Main Street (VMS) designated communities were recognized for milestone achievements including volunteer hours and private investment. Currently, the VMS program has 28 designated communities including: Abingdon, Altavista, Ashland, Bedford, Berryville, Blackstone, Bristol, Culpeper, Danville, Farmville, Franklin, Fredericksburg, Gloucester, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Lexington, Luray, Lynchburg, Manassas, Marion, Martinsville, Orange, Saint Paul, South Boston, Staunton, Warrenton, Winchester and Wytheville.

2018 Virginia Main Street Merit Awards

Best Downtown Public Improvement Project
Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust for the G

Outstanding Fundraising Effort
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance for the Friendly City Fortune

Best Downtown Restaurant Event
Downtown Blackstone for the Sandwich Sampler Competition

Best Innovation Award
Main Street Lexington for the Lexington Collaboratory

Volunteer of the Year
Mark Bloomfield with Downtown Wytheville Inc.

Main Street Pitch Idea winner
Downtown Blackstone Inc.

Volunteerism Milestone Achievement Awards

  • 150,000 Volunteer Hours
    Staunton Downtown Development Association
  • 45,000 Volunteer Hours
    Culpeper Renaissance Inc.
  • 25,000 Volunteer Hours
    Marion Downtown Revitalization Association
    Destination Downtown South Boston
  • 20,000 Volunteer Hours
    Ashland Main Street Association
    Farmville Downtown Partnership
    St. Paul Main Street
  • 15,000 Volunteer Hours
    Downtown Wytheville Inc.
  • 10,000 Volunteer Hours
    Fredericksburg Virginia Main Street Inc.
  • 5,000 Volunteer Hours
    Danville’s River District Association
  • 1,000 Volunteer Hours
    Gloucester Main Street Association

Private Investment Milestone Achievement Awards

  • $200 Million in Private Investment
    Downtown Lynchburg Association and the city of Lynchburg
  • $35 Million in Private Investment
    Berryville Main Street and the town of Berryville
  • $30 Million in Private Investment
    River District Association and the city of Danville
    Downtown Franklin Association and the city of Franklin
    Orange Downtown Alliance and the town of Orange
  • $5 Million in Private Investment
    Downtown Hopewell Partnership and the city of Hopewell
    St. Paul Main Street and the town of St. Paul
  • $1 Million in Private Investment
    Altavista On-Track and the town of Altavista
    Downtown Wytheville Inc. and the town of Wytheville

The VMS program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provides assistance and training to help communities increase the economic vitality of their downtown commercial districts. Virginia Main Street uses the National Main Street model to help communities revitalize their downtowns by focusing on their unique heritage and attributes.

The program helps communities implement a comprehensive revitalization strategy that creates economic growth and pride in downtowns.

For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, visit

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