The Main Street Iowa program is marking its 25th year. The program is designed to improve the state’s social and economic well-being by helping selected communities capitalize on the unique identity, assets and character of their historic commercial districts. Darlene Strachan, assistant state coordinator for Main Street Iowa, says the program has shifted its targets over two-and-a-half decades.

“We have changed in some respects where we’re adding urban neighborhoods into our program,” Strachan says. “Now we’re dealing with communities that are small as well as urban neighborhoods in the larger cities. Things though, in some respects, never change. There’s still the effort to get the volunteers involved. There’s still the effort to save downtowns and make them look better.”

Strachan says Iowa will be the destination this spring for Main Street officials from across the country.

“Iowa is hosting the national Main Streets conference for the first time ever,” she says. “Des Moines, Iowa, May 22nd through the 25th, we will be the host community.”

All 45 of the state’s Main Street communities will be involved in the event, the parties, the educational sessions and more. After 25 years, Strachan says the Main Street program continues to see positive signs ahead.

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By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City