Historic Main Street Oxford celebrates 10 years

Historic Main Street Oxford celebrates 10 years

Historic Main Street Oxford marked a decade of helping revitalize the downtown area with a special reception on Friday, Feb. 9, at The Studio in the Oxford Performing Arts Center.

“We appreciate all the things Main Street has accomplished over these past ten years,” said Mayor Alton Craft. “The Main Street program has completely revitalized this area. Main Street means a lot to us.”

Historic Main Street Oxford director Hunter Gentry recalled Oxford was one of only three Alabama cities that became a designated Main Street community by Main Street Alabama during the first year of operations.

“Historic preservation is economic and community development,” Gentry said. “Historic preservation leads to city revitalization, job creation, small business incubation, housing, and tourism, which reinforces the five senses of a high-quality community.”

Council president Chris Spurlin thanked the Main Street businesses, saying Main Street’s success “was largely because of you and your investments in our city.”

“The city has invested $31,000 on 25 revitalization projects, and you have invested over $135,000 to draw people here,” Spurlin said. “We have had 31 businesses locate and open downtown in the past ten years and we appreciate that very much.”

Gwen Parrish, co-owner of The Vine Chiropractic and vice chairperson of the Main Street Advisory Board, supplied the emotional side of having benefitted from locating a business on Main Street.

“We arrived here with hopes, dreams, and prayers,” Parrish said. “We pulled up in front of our new brick building, went indoors, and walked into the unknown part of our journey. Main Street is the heartbeat of a town. It is a community, and it is a home. It is here we fell in love with small business and the people who pour their hearts and souls into seeing their dreams and their community come to life.”