We all know that Main Streets are downtown, but do we know what they are and why they matter?
Please take a few minutes to find out who we are and what Main Street is all about.
Vicksburg... An Original Main Street Town In 1984, Vicksburg was chosen as one of the original six Mississippi Main Street towns. Main Street is a non-profit public/private partnership working within Vicksburg's historic downtown area to develop a sustainable and comprehensive program to revitalize our downtown economy and preserve its character. The Main Street Program is an active member of the Mississippi Main Street Association and has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street center. We use the Main Street Four-Point Approach™ which is a comprehensive strategy that is tailored to meet local needs and opportunities. It encompasses work in four distinct areas — Design, Organization, Promotion, and Economic Restructuring. Coincidentally, the four points of the Main Street approach correspond with the four forces of real estate value, which are social, political, physical, and economic.
Our mission is to create a program that will encourage and promote the economic growth and development of downtown Vicksburg through planning, beautification, and preservation of our central business district in order to build a competitive local and regional business market and support our growing tourism industry.
Downtown is the heart and soul of our city. As the heart goes, so does all of Vicksburg. Our downtown tells us who we are, who we were, and how the past has shaped us. Downtown is the place of shared memory where people still come together to live, work, and play.
In short, the Main Street Program undertakes a wide range of programs and projects such as festivals, parades, retail promotions, education, networking events and infrastructure enhancement designed to revitalize and maintain a vibrant and attractive downtown by encouraging people to come shop, work, visit, invest, and live in downtown.
Main Street is a joint venture between the public and private sectors these important partnerships make our many programs and events possible. These partnerships have worked well over the years and downtown will continue to grow and be a vital part of the Vicksburg community. The program is funded by a dedicated tax upon business real property within the Main Street Taxing District, by the City of Vicksburg, membership dues, private sector sponsors, grants, and self-generated funds from program activities.
I work with a 12 member board of directors and four standing committees that make up the fundamental organizational structure of the volunteer-driven revitalization program. The board of directors is elected by dues paying members and the owners of commercial real property within the Main Street Taxing District.
I know many of you see Alaina and me running from one place to another! The words busy, hectic, exciting, always on the move, and rewarding doesn't even begin to express the wonderful projects we have happening in Downtown Vicksburg. From Mardi Gras, Farmers Market to RiverFest, to Hit the bricks, Bricks and Spokes and much more there is always something going on in Downtown.
In many different ways we all can help the heart of our city to grow and prosper. If you live in the community, frequent the many professionals and businesses that call downtown home, come to the wide variety of downtown events such as the Christmas Parade, Fall Festival, Bricks and Spokes, RiverFest, and Hit the Bricks to name just a few. Volunteer to serve on a Main Street committee to help make these events and other programs, such as the Farmer's Market and Loft Tours, successful.
The Whole Community Has a Stake in Maintaining a Healthy, Thriving Downtown
Anyone can be involved in Main Street. You do not have to be in the Main Street Taxing District or even be a downtown business to be a part of this vital program. Tourism-related businesses such as attractions, restaurants, bed and breakfast establishments are invited to become members. Volunteers are the most important part of the program. We welcome anyone who wants to be a part of the revitalization of the heart of the city. Government employees, representatives from local industry, and professionals from the legal and medical fields have all had a part in and continue to contribute to the success of this program. If you would like more information on the Main Street Program or if you would like to become one of the many volunteers working to make downtown Vicksburg once again the center of community life and civic pride, please contact me:
Kim Hopkins, Executive Director
1010 Levee Street, Suite D
P.O. Box 150
Vicksburg, MS 39181