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Fishbone Alley, Coast cities earn top Main Street awards

A painted mural is illuminated by strings of lights at Fishbone Alley. The pedestrian walkway earned Gulfport the Innovation on Main Street Award on Thursday.
A painted mural is illuminated by strings of lights at Fishbone Alley. The pedestrian walkway earned Gulfport the Innovation on Main Street Award on Thursday. ttisbell@sunherald.com File

Three Mississippi Coast cities earned top awards Thursday at the Mississippi Main Street Association’s 28th Annual Awards Luncheon on Thursday.

Fishbone Alley in Gulfport earned the Innovation on Main Street award. The pedestrian walkway that opened Oct. 3, 2016, is patterned after Printer’s Alley in Nashville.

Fishbone Alley recently was recognized by the New York Post as one of “8 amazing American streets you’ve never heard of.”

Regarding Fishbone Alley, newyorkpost.com says, “On this unassuming backstreet, live blues music brings bold graffiti art to life.”

Also taking home awards Thursday were Cynthia Dobbs Sutton of Ocean Springs Main Street for outstanding marketing and Jeff Blalock for Main Street Pascagoula as a Main Street Hero.

Cynthia Dobbs Sutton
Cynthia Dobbs Sutton John Fitzhugh jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

The presentation of awards was made by MMSA Board President Allison Beasley, MMSA Past President Suzanne Smith and staff. The annual awards luncheon honors Main Street directors, board members and volunteers and recognizes the most outstanding downtown development projects from Main Street communities in Mississippi.

“This is the Mississippi Main Street Association’s most important event of the year,” said Beasley. “It gives us an opportunity to meet with and celebrate the local directors and investors throughout the state that are doing the hard work of making our downtown districts more competitive, successful and sustainable.”

“We are thrilled to honor our economic development and preservation heroes in Mississippi’s downtowns,” Beasley said.

Since 1993, Mississippi Main Street Association has generated more than $5 billion in private and public investment (including more than $1.2 billion in public investment).

In 2016, Mississippi Main Street programs generated 234 net new businesses, 68 business expansions to existing businesses, 1,811 net new jobs, 104 facade rehabilitations and 366 downtown residential units.

Kate Magandy: 228-896-2344, @kmagandy

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