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    Chillicothe Wins Three Downtown Revitalization Awards

    by Ben White, Director 31. July 2013 09:28


    Chillicothe won three downtown revitalization awards during the Evening of Excellence dinner and awards ceremony on July 25, at the Missouri Main Street Revitalization Conference in Kansas City held at the historic Hotel Phillips. Main Street Chillicothe accepted the award for Best Economic Restructuring Project for Black & Red Friday; Heritage Travel Award for Mural Tours; and Best Façade Renovation under $10k went to The Healthy Living Store.

    The Award was for Chillicothe’s special event, “Black and Red Friday” in the category that recognizes outstanding achievement in planning and implementation by an Economic Restructuring Committee, in cooperation with a local development organization. The concept began when Chillicothe’s Economic Restructuring Committee considered the impact of Black Friday advertising campaigns by the Big Box stores upon small retailers who have a hard time competing for sales during what many say is the largest shopping day of the holiday season. To beat the big box retailers to the punch, Main Street Chillicothe and Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce teamed up to offer an alternative to shoppers. They called it “Black and Red Friday” in honor of the local high school’s spirit colors. It is part of a wider plan to promote spending locally throughout the year, called “Local First: Think Local, Buy Local, Be Local.”

    Main Street Chillicothe, Inc. accepted the Heritage Travel Award for tours of the downtown murals. Chillicothe’s outdoor murals, mounted on buildings throughout the commercial district, tell a story around every corner of this historic downtown. Each one transports the viewer into a by-gone era and celebrates an important part of the town’s rich history and heritage. Over 20 larger-than-life, breath-taking murals include tell the visual story of trains, automobiles, a brick factory, a business college, a retailer, a bank, a fire brigade and many streetscapes. The Mural Tour can be conducted by tour guides or self-guided. Tours take place almost daily throughout the season, sometimes on foot, sometimes in cars or motor coaches.

    The final award of the evening went to The Healthy Living Store for its Best Façade Renovation under $10,000. The store has been part of the downtown since the mid 2000s. This newer addition to the community has grown and adapted to the ever-changing economy and needs of residents. With these changes came an exterior face-lift of epic proportions. Once the metal was removed, a beautiful brick façade was revealed. Although it needed some minimal cleaning, the brick itself was in pristine condition except for a few spots where the brick had been chipped away from securing the faux metal façade. The building owner worked with Main Street Chillicothe’s Design Committee to choose a fitting historic color scheme for the exterior that matched their store design, along with new second-story windows to replace the old ones. The cost was minimal, but the result was one that had the town talking.

    The evening awards event capped off three days of more than 40 educational workshops and in-the-field educational sessions, sponsored by Missouri Main Street Connection. Chillicothe had six conference attendees and two sessions were presented by local individuals including Crystal Narr, Lindy Chapman, and Amy Supple. The Main Street Chillicothe program was recognized as a state and nationally accredited Main Street program and Crystal Narr was recognized for her six years of dedication to the local program.

    The conference culminated with the Evening of Excellence, and awards recognizing achievements in downtown revitalization were presented in 18 categories. Competition for the awards came from all across the state of Missouri. Chillicothe also had semi-finalists in three other categories: Brandy Sensenich for Volunteer of the Year; and the Collaborative Flower Pot Program for Outstanding Community Partnership.

    Pictured L to R: Kate Lyons, 2013 NWSMU Summer Intern; Crystal Narr, Previous Executive Director; & Jena Eskew, Previous Assistant


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