Faces + Places

Harrisonburg receives Virginia Main Street Milestone Award

Last Friday, March 22, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance staff and city representatives traveled to Richmond, VA to receive a Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Award for the contribution of over 80,000 volunteer hours dedicated to downtown revitalization. The awards were presented at Richmond’s historic Hippodrome Theater.
Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng,  Harrisonburg Vice Mayor Charlie Chenault, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) Promotions Manager Nicole Martorana, HDR Executive Director Eddie Bumbaugh, Harrisonburg Assistant City Manager Anne Lewis, HDR Program Manager Trisha Blosser, Harrisonburg Tourism Director Brenda Black, and Main Street Program Manager Jeff Sadler at the Virginia Main Street Milestones Achievement Awards Luncheon.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng, Harrisonburg Vice Mayor Charlie Chenault, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) Promotions Manager Nicole Martorana, HDR Executive Director Eddie Bumbaugh, Harrisonburg Assistant City Manager Anne Lewis, HDR Program Manager Trisha Blosser, Harrisonburg Tourism Director Brenda Black, and Main Street Program Manager Jeff Sadler at the Virginia Main Street Milestones Achievement Awards Luncheon.

At the ceremony that focused on the results of Main Street efforts, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng spoke to the audience of more than 70 downtown revitalization volunteers and professionals about the visible results of their leadership. “Virginia main streets are thriving because of the collaboration between public and private sector, local and state governments and the citizens of each community getting involved to make their downtowns an attractive place to live, work and play,” said Cheng.

The State of Main Street

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Director Bill Shelton pointed to downtown progress through the numbers. “In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $252 million in private investment in their districts,” said Shelton. “As a result, last year, there was a net collective gain of 424 jobs across the 25 Main Street downtown districts.”

“Historic Main Street communities are much more than bricks and mortar. They serve as the heart and soul of our communities as they evoke the stories of our past while providing incomparable economic and cultural opportunities which sustain the quality of life for all citizens,” said Cate Magennis Wyatt, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the founder of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.

Cate Magennis Wyatt, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the founder of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. Photo courtesy of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Facebook page.

Cate Magennis Wyatt, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the founder of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. Photo courtesy of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Facebook page.

“Our national surveys have found that 84 percent of potential visitors are, first and foremost, attracted to the region because of our quaint small towns,” Wyatt observed.  “The work of the Virginia Main Street Program is critically important to creating jobs and attracting these visitors to the commonwealth.”

Volunteers for Downtown Harrisonburg

“The support and dedication of HDR’s many volunteers is illustrated by this Virginia Main Street award recognizing over 80,000 hours of service,” says Eddie Bumbaugh, Executive Director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. “Volunteer opportunities range from serving on standing committees to working a shift at a downtown event. Collectively our volunteers have made a significant difference in helping to create a vibrant and thriving downtown.”

HDR event volunteers are always ready to greet guests with a smile and helpful information. Photo by Trisha Blosser.

HDR event volunteers are always ready to greet guests with a smile and helpful information. Photo by Trisha Blosser.

Harrisonburg was in good company as Virginia Main Street recognized the following other communities for excellence: Abingdon, Berryville, Blackstone, Bristol, Culpeper, Lynchburg, Manassas, Marion, Orange, Radford, St. Paul, Staunton,   Waynesboro, and Winchester.

Virginia Main Street Communities

Currently there are 25 designated Virginia Main Street communities: Abingdon, Altavista, Bedford, Berryville, Blackstone, Bristol, Culpeper, Farmville, Franklin, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Luray, Lynchburg, Manassas, Marion, Martinsville, Orange, Radford, Rocky Mount, Saint Paul, South Boston, Staunton, Warrenton, Waynesboro and Winchester.

A map of the 25 Virginia Main Street Communities. Courtesy of Virginia Main Street.

A map of the 25 Virginia Main Street Communities. Courtesy of Virginia Main Street.

The Virginia Main Street program, managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, 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.

Join Us!

Are you inspired to volunteer with HDR and contribute to the efforts of our Main Street district? We are always looking for dedicated and excited individuals to join us by helping out at events, working with our committees, and offering administrative and promotional support.

For ongoing volunteer opportunities, visit our website, or contact us if you are interested in helping out with the following upcoming events:

Rocktown Beer & Music Festival (Saturday, April 20, 2013)
HDR Film Series (Fridays, May 3, September 6, and October 4, 2013)
Valley Fourth (Thursday, July 4, 2013)

Thanks to all who support HDR by volunteering their time and talents!

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