For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Contact: Brittany Lesser
Secretary Detzner Designates DeLand as Florida Main Street Program of the Month
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that MainStreet DeLand Association has been designated the Florida Main Street Community of the Month for July 2014. Communities are selected based on their developmental achievements and participation in the Florida Main Street Program. MainStreet DeLand was designated a Florida Main Street Community in 1985, which was the first year of the Florida Main Street program.
"In 1997, DeLand's Main Street Program was the recipient of the "Great American Main Street Award" given by the National Main Street Center, and has been voted the 'Best Main Street in Florida' five times in a row," said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. "We are proud to have one of our oldest Florida Main Street communities still growing strong and thriving after 29 years."
Main Street Wildflower Festival, DeLand Florida
As one of the very first programs designated a Main Street community in Florida, since its inception, MainStreet DeLand has had 268 construction and rehabilitation projects totaling $80.6 million. Over 137 businesses have opened, creating 614 new jobs in the downtown. Volunteers have donated an impressive 29,517 hours of their time to meetings and events. MainStreet DeLand excels in hosting fun and exciting events that pique the interest of diverse crowds throughout the community. From their wildflower festivals, to bike rallies, and craft and quilt shows, everyone is sure to find something fun to do in DeLand.
"Special events bring over 250,000 people to downtown DeLand each year," says Wayne Carter, Executive Director. "In addition, we partner with many other organizations to help make events happen. These events brought a lot of 'feet on the street' into our downtown shops and restaurants during a very tough economy. The accomplishment of these events has had a multiplier effect bringing success to all aspects of the downtown."
The city of DeLand is located in Volusia County, and was originally called Persimmon Hollow because of the abundance of wild persimmons that were found in the area. The significance of its current name can be found in the history of the city's founder, Henry Addison DeLand. Arriving in Florida in March of 1876, from Walterboro, South Carolina, Mr. DeLand accompanied his brother-in-law who, like many early pioneers, caught "Orange Fever" and decided to invest in orange groves in Florida. After seeing the high rolling lands and blooming white orange blossoms, Henry DeLand also caught "Orange Fever" and purchased the Hampton homestead, 159.1 acres of property. He sought to use the profits of his success for the betterment of mankind, and purchased Florida land to create a town based on culture and education. On December 6, 1876, the settlers met and decided to name the community "DeLand" in honor of all he had done for their flourishing town. For more information about MainStreet DeLand or the Florida Main Street program visit flheritage.com or facebook.com/FloridaMainStreet.
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About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State. By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of the heart and soul of Florida’s communities- the downtown. Since the program’s inception in 1985, participating programs have received technical assistance through manager training, and professional consultations in promotion, economic restructuring, organization, and design.