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Secretary of State Names Arcadia Florida Main Street Program of the Month

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Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
August 04, 2008

Joan Jefferson

Secretary of State Names Arcadia Florida Main Street Program of the Month

Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning announced today that Arcadia Main Street has been designated the Florida Main Street Community of the Month for August 2008.  Communities are selected for this award based on their participation in the Florida Main Street Program.

“Arcadia Main Street has persevered to bring back the historic vitality of its downtown,” Secretary Browning stated. “Arcadia continuously works hard to fulfill the area’s greatest potential.”

One of the very first Main Street Programs in Florida, Arcadia was designated a Florida Main Street Community in 1985. Since that time, Arcadia has successfully benefited from 119 public and private investments totaling well over $4 million, while gaining 31 new businesses and 61 new jobs.

The citizens of Arcadia have supported the development and improvement of their downtown despite setbacks caused by a fire that nearly destroyed downtown Arcadia in 1905 and Hurricane Charley in 2004.As the seat of the DeSoto County government, Arcadia benefits from assets such as a progressive City Council, a long-established Chamber of Commerce, Rodeo Association and other civic groups, a locally controlled hospital and historic district covering 51 square blocks.

The area’s antique district, which has been popular with antique dealers and patrons for years, is constantly evolving and has recently seen business bounce back to nearly 85 percent occupancy.

An important part of Florida’s heritage is the major rodeo event, Arcadia’s All-Florida Championship. The great success and popularity of this annual event makes the town a center for bull riding, calf roping and bronco riding aficionados, and is reverently maintained as a historic Arcadia tradition.

The Arcadia Main Street program has provided both downtown merchants and long time citizens with an opportunity to focus on progress and improvements to their community and its historic downtown area. 

Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program of the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State.  The Bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, and preserving Florida’s historic resources.  Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, is an effective strategy for achieving these goals in Florida’s historic retail districts.  Since 1985, the Bureau has offered manager training, consultant team visits, design and other technical assistance, as well as the benefit of experience gained by other Florida Main Street Programs.

To learn more about Arcadia Main Street, contact board president, Kim Spencer by phone at 863.494.9904 or e-mail arcadiamainstreet@yahoo.com

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