Project really has produced better block

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Winchester-Clark County continues to reap the rewards of an event designed to promote the northern part of downtown.

Two Winchester organizations were honored by the Kentucky Heritage Council with Kentucky Main Street Awards for their work on ReMain North: A Better Block Project.

On Thursday, The Greater Clark Foundation received the Outstanding Main Street Partner Award for its role in the project, and Main Street Winchester was awarded Best Main Street Project or Event for the event, which took place in November 2015.

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The  project’s goal was to help the community “dream big” about a block of North Main Street, plagued by negative perceptions. Two years ago, the portion of Main Street was home barely a hand-full of businesses and was not frequented by shoppers or downtown visitors.

Better Block Winchester: ReMain North was a seven-hour, two-day event intended to temporarily transform the block with “pop up shops,” art galleries, cafes and restaurants in order to showcase its potential to the community.

Organizers hoped that by showcasing the block’s potential, businesses would be interested in investing in that area.

The event was heavily attended and in the past two years, multiple businesses have moved to that end of Main Street. Anchored by the newly-renovated Leeds Center for the Arts, North Main Street is home to the likes of Rosebuds’ Boutique, Big Blue Woodworks, Howard’s Overhead Doors, Glassworks, In & Out BBQ, Unicorn Books and Music and Wizards of Game, among several others.

Much of the buzz and attention to this end of downtown can be attributed to a small group of organizers and volunteers who weren’t afraid to dream big about their community. They took those dreams and put them in action, building a model of what downtown Winchester could be and should be: a thriving business district that draws people from our community and others.

Congratulations to those involved for the awards, but most of all for tangible benefits ReMain North has already had in Winchester-Clark County.