Natchez Trace Festival wins Mississippi Main Street award

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The Natchez Trace Festival has been honored by Mississippi Main Street.

The festival won Outstanding Creative Event Thursday at the Mississippi Main Street Awards. The award recognizes a quality creative event hosted by a Main Street organization that has demonstrated sustainability and long-term success.

Kosciusko Main Street Director Leah Robinson accepted the award on behalf of festival organizer Pati Edwards.

“The Natchez Trace Festival has been taking place for 51 years in Kosciusko,” reads an excerpt from the award listing. “The festival started as a celebration of the Natchez Trace for locals. Now, thousands of people come to Kosciusko for the Natchez Trace Festival to participate in the events and shop the arts and crafts. The festival has arts and crafts, antiques, food trucks, a kid’s area, and an antique car show. This event is centered around the courthouse and the historic downtown district. New to the festival this year is a bicycle ride on the Natchez Trace from Kosciusko to French Camp and back to Kosciusko.”

In 2020, Mississippi Main Street’s Designated Communities generated 191 net new businesses, 52 business expansions to existing businesses, 584 net new jobs, 74 building rehabilitations and 746 downtown residential units. In addition, 75 public improvement projects were completed as well as 26 new construction projects in downtown business districts. More than $227 million was invested by the public and private sectors in 2020, and more than 22,185 volunteer hours were recorded.

“After a year without face-to-face meetings, we are excited to celebrate the achievements of our Main Street communities again in person,” said Thomas Gregory, MMSA State Coordinator. “As difficult as 2020 was for our communities, we still saw economic growth in our downtowns and resiliency from the small businesses in our downtown districts.”

“Our local Main Street directors have worked tirelessly to provide services to small businesses and create innovative ways to connect people together during the pandemic, and we are proud to celebrate their successes at our annual awards,” Gregory added.

Every dollar spent in this organization results in $80 of private investment, the highest return on investment of any economic activity in the state.

Since 1993, MMSA has generated more than $5.8 billion in private and public investment (including more than $1.5 billion in public investment).

MMSA currently has 47 Designated Main Street Communities, four Network members, and 11 Associate members.

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