We have a winner! Small cities honored for renewal projects

Through its Great American Main Street Awards program, the National Trust for Historic Preservation encourages communities of all sizes to revitalize their traditional commercial districts. Since its inception in 1980, more than 178,000 buildings have been rehabilitated under the program to revive hundreds of downtowns. This year, four winners were selected from among 11 finalists. The communities whose commercial districts won Main Street awards and some of what each did to earn the honor:

El Reno, Okla.: developed nationally recognized Fried Onion Burger Day Festival as well as a tourism attraction with its Heritage Express Trolley
Lynchburg, Va.: attracted new residents to the abandoned James Riverfront with loft apartments and developed the Amazement Square children's museum
Natchitoches, La.: turned Cane River Heritage Area into a niche market for weddings, honeymooners, and retirees
Parsons, Kan.: restored 26 building facades and recruited 27 new businesses

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