I’m writing my column the day after a very special event for the state’s Main Street communities. Last night, the prestigious Oklahoma Main Street Awards Banquet took place at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The reception area was packed full of anxious Main Street directors, board members, award nominees, and volunteers - all waiting to see if they would take home an award or two ... or in Ada’s case, three.
We’ve all been patiently waiting since March 1, when the Oklahoma Main Street Center announced the top three finalists in each of the 21 award categories. Ada Main Street was honored with three finalists in three different categories. According to the Oklahoma Main Street Center, there were 251 nominations submitted from 30 state Main Street programs and the overall quality of the nominations and photos were reportedly the best they had seen in a good while.
Unfortunately, we didn’t bring home any top awards last night, but our finalists are all winners in the eyes of Ada Main Street. Congratulations to Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, a finalist for the Main Street Hero award; Vintage 22, finalist for Best Interior Design; and the McSwain Theatre, finalist for Best Façade Rehabilitation Over $10,000.
Governor Anoatubby has guided the revitalization of several areas of historic downtown Ada and was nominated for the “Main Street Hero” award for his vision and leadership. He has always been a friend and proponent of the Ada Main Street program. Even though the Chickasaw Nation is involved in projects worldwide, it continues to invest in Ada Main Street.
The McSwain Theatre was nominated for “Best Façade Rehabilitation Over $10,000” for its remarkable transformation back to the look of its original façade in 1920. The McSwain Theatre literally grew up with the City of Ada and has been an Ada Main Street icon for more than 90 years. Spearheaded by the Chickasaw Nation, the renovation of this historic downtown building goes hand in hand with the revitalization efforts on Main Street.
“Best Interior Design” award nominee Vintage 22 Wine and Dessert Bar was formerly known as the Barry Patch Laundromat. After many years of no repairs or improvements to the building, it became dilapidated. Dakota and Lisa Hector purchased the historic building and began renovations. The entire inside of the structure was completely torn out, leaving only the exterior walls of brick and mortar. The beautiful renovation and interior transformation made Vintage 22 a perfect nominee for Best Interior Design.
Also honored at the banquet is each Main Street program’s “Board Member of the Year” and “Crowning Achievement”, a project from the previous year that represents the overall efforts of the local program.
Ada Main Street’s 2010 “Board Member of the Year” is Kevin Holland. As one of the newest board members for Ada Main Street, Kevin lives by the words “hit the ground running”. During his first month of service, Kevin offered the idea for “Cruising Main”, which turned out to be a huge event for the program and the community. Congratulations to Kevin on his achievement!
Ada Main Street chose “Cruising Main” as our Crowning Achievement for 2010 because it brought the program’s purpose and philosophy into public view and brought the community together for a nostalgic and enjoyable evening.
When you think about it, the citizens of Ada are the real winners for sharing the community with amazing people and businesses such as our award finalists. Thank you and congratulations to them all!
If you would like to learn more about the Ada Main Street program, please contact me at (580) 436-1600. If you see any of our finalists, be sure to congratulate them and remember - whether you’re shopping or dining out, think Ada Main Street first!