On July 13, representatives of the Gloucester Main Street Association and Main Street Preservation Trust were presented with a Virginia Main Street Merit Award for Best Downtown Retail Event for their Wine Walk event at the Virginia Main Street Downtown Intersections workshop in Staunton, Virginia.

“Our Virginia Main Street communities are revitalizing these beautiful downtown districts,” said Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Director Bill Shelton. ”In the last five years, designated Main Street communities have sparked more than $161 million in private investment in their districts, and as a result, last year, there was a net collective gain of 2,637 jobs across our Main Street downtown districts.”

This award is given to the Main Street organization that has the best downtown retail promotion designed to generate foot traffic to local retail businesses within their Main Street district.

The Gloucester Main Street Association designed their Wine Walk event to specifically increase sales and foot traffic during a slower night of the week in summer. The event included a wine tasting tour at six participating businesses, and the event helped increase business in other businesses as well, including downtown restaurants and shops.

In addition to Gloucester, Virginia Main Street recognized the following communities for excellence.

Altavista for Volunteer of the Year; Danville for Best Downtown Public Improvement Project; Harrisonburg for Outstanding Business; and Luray for Outstanding Fundraising Effort.

Currently, there are 29 designated Virginia Main Street communities: Abingdon, Altavista, Ashland, Bedford, Berryville, Blackstone, Bristol, Culpeper, Danville, Farmville, Franklin, Fredericksburg, Gloucester, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Lexington, Luray, Lynchburg, Manassas, Marion, Martinsville, Orange, Saint Paul, South Boston, Staunton, Warrenton, Waynesboro, Winchester and Wytheville.

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

For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, call (804) 371-7030 or visit

GROUP PHOTO CAPTION: (L-R) Jeff Sadler, Associate Director of Community Development- Virginia Department of Housing and Community Developement (DHCD); Ashley Gilmartin, Executive Director for the Gloucester Main Street Association; Bill Shelton, Director- Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)

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