The downtown area of Cedar Falls has won national recognition from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Cedar Falls is one of the 12 cities in the annual “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” awards named by the trust. MaraBeth Soneson is the executive director of the main street community organization in the northeast Iowa city.

Soneson says it’s a competitive juried process, and they applied last September for consideration. She says the award is given to communities that are “interesting, that are vital, that have a variety of activities, and reasons to visit and enjoy.” Soneson says they were excited to find out they’d won.

“We’re very proud, were the only town in Iowa this year, and I think only the third (Iowa) town in the history of this whole competition to win this award,” Soneson says. She says the award says a lot about the entire community. She says the main street program submitted the application focusing on the downtown area, but she says the award includes the whole town as the information also includes the things available in a five to 10 mile radius.

Soneson says they highlighted the bike trail system, along with the “eclectic” mix of businesses downtown, along with cultural district and the historic district. Soneson says the city and state have a chance to gain more recognition with an on-line poll in connection with this award.

Soneson says communities that win the award are now competing on-line in a “fan favorite” vote. She encourages everyone to get on-line and vote for the city as she says “a vote for Cedar Falls is a vote for Iowa.” You can go on-line and vote via the CedarFallsdowntown.com website or the preservationnation.org site.