For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Contact: Sarah Revell
Secretary Detzner Designates Okeechobee Main Street as Florida Main Street Program of the Month
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced that Okeechobee Main Street has been designated the Florida Main Street Community of the Month for December 2017. Communities are selected based on their developmental achievements and participation in the Florida Main Street Program. Designated as a Florida Main Street community in 2004, Okeechobee has used community partnerships and local resources and initiatives to revitalize downtown.
“The community’s commitment and determination to enhance their historic downtown is commendable,” said Secretary Detzner. “With a history steeped in old Florida traditions, Okeechobee Main Street recognizes the importance of maintaining and presenting its historic resources and cultural heritage to showcase its appeal in the 21st century.”
The seat of Okeechobee County, Okeechobee is a small city of just over 5,600 residents. Surrounded by vast acres of ranch land, Okeechobee earned its reputation as the center of the cattle industry in south Central Florida. In addition, the town is just three miles north of Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s largest lake and the second-largest fresh body of water in the United States, attracting fishermen and tourists from all over the world.
Historically, Okeechobee’s development can be traced to early nineteenth century settlements by the Seminole Tribe. The first permanent pioneers settled in 1896, and the city of Okeechobee was officially incorporated in 1915. The area continued to grow until 1928 when the city was devastated by the Okeechobee Hurricane.
Buffered by a wide grassy boulevard, downtown Okeechobee is home to the magnificent 1926 Mediterranean Revival Style County Courthouse. The originally designed central dome was never built due to the 1920s recession and the collapse of the Florida land boom.
Since its designation, Okeechobee Main Street busily promotes its downtown by hosting a variety of special events. One of the most popular is the annual Okeechobee Main Street Speckled Perch Festival, which takes place in the month of March, to honor the infamous fish found in abundance in nearby Lake Okeechobee. Other events and activities include the Top of the Lake Art Fest, Labor Day in the Park Festival, Art & Wine Walk and Taste of Okeechobee.
“Okeechobee is the Crossroads of Florida, and it is our goal to ensure that the visitor experience in our historic downtown is memorable,” says Jonathan Holt, Okeechobee Main Street Executive Director.
For more information about Okeechobee Main Street or the Florida Main Street program visit OkeeechobeeMainStreet.org, Facebook.com/OkeechobeeMainSt, FloridaMainStreet.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, which currently oversees 50 communities throughout the 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 Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul.