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The Gulfport Main Street Association Wins ‘Innovation on Main Street’ Award for Fishbone Alley  

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (May 3, 2017) — The National Main Street Center announced today the winners of its annual “Innovation on Main Street” awards, including Gulfport Main Street Association for their measurable involvement in the Fishbone Alley project.

The Innovation Award recognizes Main Street America programs for successful, sustainable initiatives that represent new approaches to an existing downtown revitalization challenge or opportunity. Awards were announced as part of the Main Street Now Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 3, 2017.

“This award exemplifies what Main Street is all about – creativity, ingenuity, and savvy use of resources,” says Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “So much of what we do in Main Street is about changing attitudes about what’s possible. The transformation of Fishbone Alley does just that – it proves the potential of public space to bring community together and enliven a downtown.”

Only four programs received awards at the national conference that drew approximately 1,600 attendees representing 45 states and 1,600 Main Street programs.

“The quality of life and community involvement in Gulfport is growing in very exciting ways,” said Laurie Toups, director of Gulfport Main Street Association. “From the newest addition of Fishbone Alley - brainchild of David Parker, City of Gulfport’s Economic Development Director - to the restoration of numerous properties in downtown, Gulfport has a lot to offer!”

“Winning the National Award for Innovation on Main Street proves to us that we are moving in the right direction," Toups said. "We could not be more honored than to be recognized among our peers from all over the country. We submitted the Fishbone Alley project to show that you can think outside the “block” and utilize what you have to create something unique - something your community can embrace.”

The Gulfport Main Street Association applied for the award, and the Mississippi Main Street Association recommended the project. The nomination included a history of the Fishbone Alley project as well as historical and before and after pictures of the alley.

The Fishbone Alley “Urban Living Room” project in an inspiring example of the power of Main Street to transform downtowns and rally communities. Gulfport Main Street Association helped to turn an underused, unattractive alley right in the middle of the downtown district into a vibrant public space, featuring century-old brick pavers, public art, and enchanting lighting.

The grand opening in 2016 drew thousands of locals and visitors alike who wanted to experience the essence of this “urban living room” – a space unlike any other on the Gulf Coast or the state of Mississippi.    


About the Mississippi Main Street Association:

As a Main Street America Coordinating Program, Mississippi Main Street Association is part of a powerful, grassroots network consisting of 45 Coordinating Programs and over 1,600 neighborhoods and communities across the country committed to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

MMSA provides training and technical assistance based on the Main Street Four-Point Approach® - Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Vitality - to 55 Main Street communities and network members in the state. Since 1993, MMSA has provided more than $5 billion in public and private re-investment back into Main Street communities. For more information, visit

About the National Main Street Center:
Over the past 35 years, the National Main Street Center has been leading a national network of coordinating partners and over 2,000 local historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts known collectively as Main Street America™ – all sharing a commitment to preservation-based community revitalization. Originally launched as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center pioneered an incremental, volunteer-driven strategy to help downtowns counteract booming suburban growth. This novel approach was in stark contrast to the urban renewal projects that were destroying commercial districts. Today, as an independent subsidiary of the National Trust, the Center continues to build on its three-decade record of success, with new leadership and added resources to help communities bring new life, vitality, and continued investment to their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. More information on the program is online at:

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Mississippi Main Street Association
P.O. Box 55747 | Jackson, MS 39296
Phone: 601/944-0113
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P.O. Box 445 | Columbus, MS 39703 | 662- 364-0435
426 Northpointe Lake Dr. | Oxford, MS 38655 | 601-941-5409
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