Taylor County Tourism Director Julie Dennis, Campbellsville Main Street Among 12 Recognized For Community Efforts By Lt. Gov. Coleman

Program celebrates outstanding efforts in volunteerism, partnerships, economic vitality, fundraising, design and promotion.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 30, 2024) – Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman joined leaders from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet to recognize 12 Kentucky Main Street communities and local leaders for their efforts to foster economic vitality and job creation through historic preservation.

“Kentucky Main Street communities are the heart and soul of the commonwealth. They preserve our heritage, foster local entrepreneurship and create vibrant spaces for residents and visitors alike,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “Thank you to this year’s Main Street award recipients, who invest in our downtowns, playing a crucial role in supporting small businesses, local communities and Kentucky families.”

The Kentucky Main Street program was created in 1979 by the Kentucky Heritage Council (KHC)/State Historic Preservation Office to reverse the economic decline in central business districts through historic preservation and redevelopment of commercial buildings. In 2023, Kentucky Main Street communities reported $61.4 million in investment in downtown commercial districts. Statewide, communities reported a net gain of 649 of new jobs, 126 new businesses and 223 rehabilitation projects completed.

“Our Main Street communities are critical to the cultural and economic vitality of our commonwealth,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Lindy Casebier. “We are proud of all that they have achieved, and I extend heartfelt congratulations to each of the award recipients.”

Lt. Gov. Coleman recognized Main Street communities for their outstanding efforts in volunteerism, partnerships, economic vitality, fundraising, design and promotion. Individuals and communities recognized as part of the ceremony are as follows:

Volunteer of the Year Awards:

Karen Eldridge, LaGrange Main Street

Rayan Libke, Shelbyville Main Street

Spirit of Main Street Awards:


Don Begley, Beattyville Main Street


Crater City Coffee, Judy and Larry Grandey, Middlesboro Main Street

Best Fundraising Effort Award:

Taylorsville Main Street Progressive Dinner

Economic Vitality Awards:

Outstanding Main Street Partner:

Taylor County Tourism Director Julie Dennis, Campbellsville Main Street

Best Economic Vitality Initiative: 

Maysville Main Street Director Caroline Reece

Entrepreneur of the Year:

Andrea Mikowski, Longhurst and Ladell’s, Guthrie Main Street

Design Awards:

Best Adaptive Reuse:

MAD Properties KY LLC, Phil Smith, London Main Street

Best Downtown Beautification:

London Tourism and Parks, London Main Street

Bricks and Mortar:

Dillion and Lauren Leonard, Shelbyville Main Street

Best Outdoor Space:

Beattyville Town Square, Beattyville Main Street

Promotion Awards:

Best Downtown Project:

Pikeville Main Street Hippie Fest

Best Promotion of Downtown: 

Bardstown Main Street Holiday Passport

Best Community Project:

Murray Main Street Community Mural

Pikeville Main Street, the recipient of the Best Downtown Project Award, transformed a wine-tasting and retail event into a vibrant community celebration – Hippie Fest – showcasing 23 businesses, local eateries and artists.

“The Kentucky Main Street Program plays a vital role in revitalizing our downtown areas, fostering economic growth and preserving our rich cultural heritage. Pikeville Main Street’s Hippie Fest is a perfect example of this mission in action,” said Jill Dotson, Executive Director of Pikeville Main Street. “Hippie Fest is one of our favorite days. This vibrant and free-spirited event celebrates the unique spirit of our community, offering fun for families and people of all ages. It not only brings significant business to our downtown merchants but also enhances the vibrancy and sustainability of our local economy. By supporting such initiatives, we are investing in the heart of our community and ensuring a thriving future for Downtown Pikeville.”

Bardstown Main Street was recognized for partnering with the Nelson County Chamber of Commerce to develop a holiday passport to encourage shoppers to shop locally during the holiday season.

“I feel it’s very important in having a working partnership with Bardstown Main Street and our Chamber of Commerce, because by working together, our organizations can pool resources such as funding, volunteers and promoting our local community,” said Randi Mouser, Executive Director of Bardstown Main Street. “The holiday passport brought shoppers to our downtown with increasing foot traffic to our local businesses which lead to higher sales and long-term customers. Regular, well-attended events contribute to a lively and vibrant downtown, enhancing community pride where our locals will want to continue to support increasing our economic development in Bardstown.”

Maysville City Manager Matt Wallingford took home the Spirit of Main Street Leader Award for his unwavering support for Maysville Main Street. Wallingford, who previously served as the Main Street’s director, is noted as an invaluable partner to the program, using his resources to accomplish goals and projects.

“Maysville was one of five original Main Street programs established in Kentucky in 1979. The Main Street Program plays a crucial role in the economic and cultural fabric of Maysville. Our program and downtown would not be what it is today without our wonderful Main Street manager, Caroline Reece, and I firmly believe that our downtown is the key to our economic prosperity,” said Wallingford. “Whether it is upper floor occupancy, our numerous festivals or the expansion of a small business, citizens want a downtown where they can live, work, and play. Supporting the Kentucky Main Street Program is a strategic investment in the economic, social and cultural well-being of Maysville.”

The Kentucky Main Street program has generated more than $4.7 billion of investment throughout the commonwealth since its inception.

The Kentucky Main Street Association, a nonprofit organization, provides support to Main Street communities by assisting with planning, training, fundraising and program support.

The Kentucky Main Street Program has 24 communities: Bardstown, Beattyville, Campbellsville, Carrollton, Cynthiana, Grayson, Guthrie, LaGrange, London, Maysville, Middlesboro, Morehead, Murray, Paducah, Perryville, Pikeville, Pineville, Salyersville, Scottsville, Shelbyville, Springfield, Taylorsville, Tri-Cities of Cumberland and Williamsburg.

For more information, visit heritage.ky.gov.

For the latest Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet updates, follow the cabinet on FacebookTwitterInstagram or LinkedIn. To learn more about tourism and arts in Kentucky, visit tah.ky.gov.

Read about other key updates, actions and information from the Beshear-Coleman administration at governor.ky.gov.

(JT Henderson)