Posted on Oct 13, 2020

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Main Street Alabama celebrates local program successes with the announcement of the 7th Annual Awards of Excellence.  The awards honor projects and individuals that make tremendous impacts in their respective communities. 

“It’s an honor to recognize outstanding community projects, leaders and volunteers,” said Helmer. “The awards represent the good work being done in Main Street Alabama communities, including those that were initiated after the pandemic, sparking creative ways to promote and help struggling businesses.”  

The 7th Annual Awards of Excellence Award winners are as follows:

Main Street Hero

The Main Street Hero award is given in recognition of individuals, businesses and organizations that have made an outstanding contribution to their local Main Street program.

  • City of Alexander City, Main Street Alexander City

  • Shane, Trisha and Gayle Black – Athens Main Street

  • Rebekah Fox – REV Birmingham

  • Antonia Martinez Revelle – Urban Impact

  • Tara Hargrove – Calera Main Street

  • Caroline Swope – Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority

  • Neal Gilmer – Elba Main Street

  • Downtown Enterprise Business Association – Enterprise Main Street

  • Steve Hawkins – Main Street Eufaula

  • Billy Warren – Downtown Florence Alliance

  • Mayor John Koniar – Foley Main Street

  • Johnny Eberhart – Fort Payne Main Street

  • Catherine Martin – Downtown Gadsden Inc.

  • Llyod & Kay Keel – Headland Main Street

  • Paula Smith – Heflin Main Street

  • Curt Ballard – Jasper Main Street

  • Donald Bennett – Main Street Marion

  • Monroeville Garden Club – Monroeville Main Street

  • Dr. Hollie Cost -  Montevallo Main Street

  • Opelika Observer – Opelika Main Street

  • Gwen Parrish – Historic Main Street Oxford

  • Richi Reynolds – Main Street Scottsboro

  • Redstone Federal Credit Union – South Huntsville Main Business Association

  • Lynn Weldon – Main Street Wetumpka

Adaptive Reuse

This award recognizes the best adaptive reuse of a building that has outlived its former use, including conversions to housing and office space, multiple businesses, public meeting space, restaurants, cultural centers, etc. 

  • Taco Mama in Florence

  • Lofts @ 612 in Gadsden

  • Church to Designs On You in Jasper

Building Design

The Building Design Award recognizes outstanding completed design projects including façade renovation and/or interior renovation efforts and infill construction.

  • Davis Mann Salon in Opelika

  • River Front Group Building in Decatur

  • Jones Land Development LLC for the 420 Broad Street project in Gadsden

  • Southern Charm in Eufaula

Business Development

Award recognizes outstanding efforts to improve the downtown business climate, or business retention & recruitment efforts.

  • Bradley Martens - JWJ, Monroeville

  • REVeal Kitchen in Pizitz Hall, Birmingham

  • Possibilities Tour in South Huntsville

Business Promotion

The Business Promotion Award recognizes outstanding special events and activities that promote the Main Street district by creating a quality authentic event which generates traffic for the district.

  • Take Out Thursday, an event created by Main Street Alexander City, as a response to COVID-19

  • Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority’s Interactive Downtown Map

  • Shindig No. 11 hosted by Billy Reid in downtown Florence

  • Opelika COVID-19 Billboards

  • Cookie Crunch hosted by South Huntsville Main Business Association

Economic Impact

Award recognizes an individual, business or municipality (or partnership of entities) that has undertaken a new development project within a Main Street district that had a positive economic impact.

  • Wetumpka’s Streetscape Business Mitigation Grant Project

  • Billy Jones for redevelopment projects in downtown Monroeville


Award given in recognition of outstanding local fundraising activities or campaigns.

  • Athens Main Street Stakeholder Investor Program

  • Boys in the Band Tribute in Fort Payne

  • 2019 Partners in Preservation Grant in Monroeville

Historic Rehabilitation

This award recognizes outstanding historic rehabilitation projects that continue the economic uses of the buildings. 

  • Knowles and Sullivan, LLC, at 413 Broad Street in Gadsden

  • Womack's Building Project/Hammer, Inc, Monroeville


Award recognizes outstanding efforts in overall marketing by a Main Street organization through integrated communication efforts, including traditional and digital marketing or specific promotional campaign.

  • “I Heart Heflin” promotional video

  • Slow Spoke in Jasper

  • “We Are Monroeville Main Street” promotional video

  • South Huntsville Main Business Association Brand Launch


The Placemaking award recognizes outstanding local efforts that capitalize on local assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promotes people’s health, happiness, and well-being.

  • South Huntsville Graduation Mural

  • REV Birmingham’s UpSwing

  • "Make Your Mark on Montevallo" Mural

  • After Classes Sculpture in downtown Gadsden  


Planning and Public Spaces

Award recognizes outstanding planning projects and quality completed design improvements such as streetscape, public art and other projects in public spaces.

  • Eufaula Splash Pad

  • City of Oxford Downtown Streetscape

  • Main Street Wetumpka’s Alleyway Cultivation Project

  • REV Birmingham’s Parkside Trail, a new project created in response to COVID-19


This award is to recognize outstanding local efforts to preserve downtown history through preservation education efforts such as walking tours, historic district designation, etc.

  • 1871 Limestone County Courthouse Bell in downtown Athens

  • Getting Registered & Recognized project in Elba

  • Boll Weevil Centennial Celebration in Enterprise                                      


Award recognizes outstanding special events and activities that promote the Main Street district by creating a quality authentic event which generates traffic for the district.

  • Montevallo’s “Just Show Up Show” event            

  • Foley Main Street’s “Lucky to Love Foley” event

  • Under the Oaks event in Headland

  • Opelika Main Street On Tap        

  • Virtual Spring Market in Enterprise, an existing event that went virtual as a response to COVID-19

  • “We're Still Flourshing” COVID response campaign in Jasper        


Public Relations
Award given to Main Street organizations that developed an effective public relations program of work.

  • Faces of Foley campaign, We Are Ready For You! By Foley Main Street                                       

Public/Private Partnerships

Award recognizes creative joint ventures between the local Main Street organization and another local, community entity or entities (public or private).

  • Branding Scope in Alexander City

  • The Downtown Turtle Trail in Decatur    

Main Street Alabama has 28 Designated Programs and 20 Downtown Network Communities.  Alexander City, Anniston, Athens, Atmore, Birmingham, Birmingham’s Historic 4th Ave Business District, Calera, Columbiana, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Enterprise, Eufaula, Florence, Foley, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Headland, Heflin, Jasper, Marion, Monroeville, Montevallo, Opelika, Oxford, Scottsboro, South Huntsville, and Wetumpka each have Designated Programs and new communities will be added annually. Applications to become a Designated Program will be available in Spring 2021. Until then, communities interested in downtown revitalization can participate in Main Street Alabama's Downtown Network.

Main Street Alabama focuses on bringing jobs, dollars and people back to Alabama’s historic communities.  Economic development is at the heart of our efforts to revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.



For more information, contact the following:                                                                                       

Mary Helmer                                                                                                                    

President and State Coordinator               

Main Street Alabama                                                                                                               



Main Street is a proven strategy for revitalization.