2010 Great American Main Street Awards®

Congratulations Semifinalists!

2010 Gamsa semifinalist bannerCollectively, the 2010 GAMSA semifinalist communities have created more than 1,100 new businesses and nearly 4,800 new jobs, rehabbed more than 950 buildings, and decreased their vacancy rates by an average of 31 percent. They have generated an average of $24,104,868.70 in public investment and $43,494,647.40 in private investment. Our 10 semifinalists have also demonstrated their ability to create and maintain vibrant, successful commercial districts that serve as the heart of their communities.


The 2010 Great American Main Street Awards are sponsored by Chesapeake Energy, one of the leading producers of natural gas in the U.S and the most active driller of new wells in the country. The Oklahoma City-based company has long been in the forefront of promoting increased use of clean-burning, abundant, and domestic natural gas.

A national jury composed of former award winners, community development professionals, representatives from government and foundations, and journalists who are active in community economic development and historic preservation will evaluate the semifinalists and select five winners. The winners will be announced on May 4, 2010, during the National Main Street Conference in Oklahoma City. Congratulations to all the semifinalists:

 Downtown Aledo

 Aledo IL 2010 GAMSA semifinalist


Like many small rural communities, Aledo, Illinois, saw the decline of "mom and pop" retailers and the rise of "super" stores take a toll on its business environment. However, by cultivating its local resources, Aledo has been able to keep old businesses alive and welcome new businesses to town, even during a recession.

Take a visual tour of Aledo, Illinois and become a fan on Facebook.

Learn more about why Aledo is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.

Main Street Columbus

 Columbus MS 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist

Downtown Columbus, Mississippi, is filled with numerous businesses and residential dwellings and takes pride in housing all major government and banking institutions for the city. Through comprehensive implementation of plans and projects, Main Street Columbus is the leader in the community and throughout Mississippi in downtown revitalization efforts.

Take a visual tour of Columbus, Mississippi, visit their website and become a fan on Facebook.

Learn more about why Columbus is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.

Downtown Fairmont

 Fairmont WV 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist

Fairmont, West Virginia, has met the challenge of successfully developing its historic commercial district while building a strong network of leaders who ensure organizational success and sustainability. The revitalization effort has increased employment opportunities, beautified the downtown, and rekindled a sense of pride among residents and merchants. As a result, after 30 years of decline, Fairmont's population is growing.

Take a visual tour of Fairmont, West Virginia; visit Fairmont's website; and become a friend on Facebook.

Learn more about why Fairmont is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.

Farmland Downtown Historic District

Farmland IN 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist

Farmland, Indiana, has taken a "dying" commercial district with decaying buildings and no support in the community and transformed it into a downtown filled with new businesses operating in restored buildings and a vibrant community spirit.

Take a visual tour of Farmland, Indiana and visit Farmland's website.

Learn more about why Farmland is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.

Downtown Ferndale

Ferndale IN 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist 

In 10 years, downtown Ferndale has transformed the public perception of the commercial district, which has gone from a 30 percent vacancy rate to 1 percent. Positioned as a safe, open-minded commnunity, downtown Ferndale enthusiastically welcomes all cultures. And as the first suburb north of Detroit, the community has demonstrated to others that you can triumph over urban sprawl.

Take a visual tour of Ferndale, Michigan; visit Ferndale's website and become a fan on Facebook.

Learn more about why Ferndale is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.

 Downtown Fort Pierce

Fort Pierce FL 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist

Main Street Fort Pierce's revitalization efforts, spearheaded by the rebirth of its Sunrise Theater, have earned the community bragging rights as one of the best towns in Florida, as well as the 2005 City of Excellence Award from the Florida League of Cities. Fort Pierce's recovery and continued success after back-to-back hurricanes shows its strong commitment to community revitalization.

Take a visual tour of Fort Pierce, Florida and visit their website.

Learn more about why Fort Pierce is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.

 Downtown Lee's Summit

Lees Summit MO 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist

Despite being one of the largest cities in Missouri, with a population explosion of 65,000 people over the past 25 years, Lee's Summit has maintained its small-town charm and preservation ethic. Broad-based public and private support has led to an extraordinary commitment to maintaining the downtown as the heart and soul of the city.

Take a visual tour of Lee's Summit, Missour; visit Lee's Summit's website and become a fan on Facebook.

Learn more about why Lee's Summit is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.

 Historic Downtown and LowerTown Arts District

Paducah KY 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist

Paducah, Kentucky, has distinguished itself by focusing on the arts as a revitalization strategy. Creating an arts-friendly environment has provided an added incentive to prospective businesses and employers. Paducah Main Street initiatives have led to the city earning several awards and being named by Southern Business & Development Magazine as one of  the "10 small towns in the South that deserve a second look."

Take a visual tour of Paducah, Kentucky and visit Paducah's website.

Learn more about why Paducah is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.


 Pontiac P.R.O.U.D.

Pontiac IL 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist

Pontiac has overcome a major flood, the closing and potential closure of major employers in the region, and a tight city budget to become a popular tourist attraction. Eighteen historic, wall-sized murals; the creation of a museum complex; and new shopping and dining experiences have all contributed to give Pontiac's residents and visitors a place they can truly enjoy every day.

Take a visual tour of Pontiac, Illinois and visit Pontiac's website.

Learn more about why Pontiac is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.

 Downtown Rochester

Rochester MI 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist

After the downturn in the economy caused long-time businesses to close and made a business attraction program obsolete overnight, downtown Rochester focused on its strength – independent businesses. With property owners negotiating competitive leases and recruiting businesses from other cities, word got out that exciting things were happening in Rochester.

Take a visual tour of Rochester, Michigan; visit Rochester's website and become a fan on Facebook.

Learn more about why Rochester is a 2010 GAMSA Semifinalist.