Ruston Main Street Named Semifinalist for 2023 Great American Main Street Award
BATON ROUGE, La (press release) – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, the Office of Cultural Development, and Louisiana Main Street are proud to announce Ruston Main Street is a semifinalist for the 2023 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). Main Street America selected eight semifinalists based on their innovative use of the Main Street Approach. The Great American Main Street Award is the highest honor in the field of commercial district management. Main Street America will announce the winners on March 27, 2023, at the Main Street Now Conference in Boston.
The entire list of semifinalists include:
- Ruston Main Street (Ruston, LA)
- Metuchen Downtown Alliance (Metuchen, NJ)
- Mills 50 Main Street (Orlando, FL)
- Downtown Sheridan Association (Sheridan, WY)
- Downtown Sykesville Connection (Sykesville< MD)
- River District Association (Danville, VA)
- Denison Main Street (Denison, TX)
- Downtown Florence Main Street (Florence, SC)
“For many of our communities in Louisiana, the Main Street district serves as a catalyst for change that otherwise may not have been possible. Through the revitalization of Main Street, they once again become the heart of the community where businesses come to life and contribute to the social cohesion and economic sustainability of the city,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Each community’s approach to revitalization is different and unique. Ruston Main Street is a good example of preserving and restoring historic aspects of our small towns and historic districts. They have utilized strategic improvements to create a vibrant and resilient local economy celebrating their local flavor and homegrown talent.”
Selection criteria for the Great American Main Street Award include strength in spurring community transformation, commitment to historic preservation, innovative programming, implementation of partnerships, community outreach and stakeholder engagement, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“We are thrilled to have been selected as a GAMSA Semifinalist for 2023,” said Amy Stegall, Main Street Director and Community Coordinator for the City of Ruston. “Our community has worked hard to create a place that is committed to keeping our historic charm while focusing on the economic vitality of our downtown. We are more than events. We are small businesses, local restaurants, and merchants who know our customers by name. This recognition gives us confidence that we are moving in the right direction. We are excited to keep moving forward!”
“This is a tremendous honor for the city of Ruston and our downtown merchants. I want to thank Amy Stegall for her hard work, not only for submitting the application, but continuing the work of the previous Main Street directors who helped build the foundation of creating such a special and one of a kind main street. We are proud to represent not only our wonderful city, but the great state of Louisiana as well,” said Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker.
Ruston Main Street
Ruston Main Street is the heart, soul, and economic engine of this Louisiana college town. With the district also being home to the Louisiana School for the Blind, Ruston Main Street, in partnership with local leaders, put accessible infrastructure at the core of its transformation strategy, burying power lines, installing uniform curbs, and leveling sidewalks to create a safe, walkable downtown. Annual events like the Louisiana Peach Festival, Juneteenth celebration, and farmers’ market preserve and celebrate local heritage and support the local economy. From the centrally located Railroad Park and the Rock Island Greenway corridor connecting downtown to Louisiana Tech University, to unique businesses, vibrant restaurants, and innovative third spaces like Heard Freight House Food Truck Park, this district is welcoming to every resident, student, and visitor.
Since 1995, the National Main Street Center has honored exceptional Main Street communities with the Great American Main Street Award. In that time, over 100 communities have been awarded this great honor. Previous Louisiana winners include Hammond Downtown Development District in 2022, Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Main Street, New Orleans, in 2017; Natchitoches Main Street in 2006; and, New Iberia Main Street in 2005.
For more information on Louisiana Main Street communities, please visit the Louisiana Main Street Network webpage. For more information on the 2023 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA), please visit the GAMSA Semifinalist webpage.