Have you ever felt that there was something truly special about your small town’s main street? Or maybe there’s a main street that you love visiting, thanks to the shops or the food or the festival atmosphere it provides? The organization Independent We Stand has kicked off its fifth annual America’s Main Streets contest, with online nominations and voting taking place over the next three months.
The winning town gets $25,000 in cash and sponsor-related prizes. Whether your local “Main Street” is making a comeback or never lost its staying power, it’s important to bring attention to the vital role America’s Main Streets play in the long-term success of communities. All nominations and voting take place on MainStreetContest.com.
Last year’s recipient was Wellington, Ohio, which has a population of just under 5,000 people. The town was formerly known as the “Cheese Capital of the World.”
Of course, the nominated street in your little town of 3,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 people doesn’t have to specifically be called “Main Street” — it simply has to embody the spirit and value of Main Street America.
To help promote the contest, Independent We Stand is heading out for “The Great American West Coast Cruisin’ ” road trip starting March 16. While cruisin’ along the West Coast, the team will make stops on five Main Streets in five days to eat, sleep, and shop local, as well as interview and engage with small businesses, their customers, Main Street groups and small business organizations. You can follow their journey through Port Townsend Wash.; Gold Beach, Ore.; Eureka, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif. and Seal Beach, Calif. on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Feb. 24 to April 19: “America’s Main Streets” nominations and quarterfinalist voting
- Mar. 16-20: The Great American “West Coast Cruisin’” road trip
- April 27 to May 24: “America’s Main Streets” semifinalist voting
- June 2: “America’s Main Streets” winner announced
- July 4: “Main Streets Make Us Better” event; “America’s Main Streets” winner announces plans for $25,000 grand prize
Additional contest prizes include:
- STIHL Equipment Certificate for $1,000 worth of STIHL equipment good at any STIHL Dealer in the U.S. STIHL is the contest’s presenting sponsor
- Do it Best Corp. $500 shopping spree
- Free One Day Downtown Assessment from Flip This Town
- Nationwide Marketing Group $500 shopping spree
- PPG Paints $500 shopping spree
- Public relations and social media recognition