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Businesses and People at the Downtown First Awards

The City of Dallas celebrated its historic downtown community and businesses at the Downtown First Awards on March 21, 2023, with over 70 people in attendance. The Downtown First Awards was created by Dallas’ Main Street Advisory Board to honor those that always put Downtown Dallas first. The awards started with dinner catered by Frannick’s Café at the Dallas Civic Center, and then the guests moved to the Dallas Theater for the awards ceremony.

Before the awards ceremony began, Dallas Main Street Manager Shannon Gordon gave a short presentation educating guests about the Dallas Main Street Program, a local program accredited through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). She mentioned there are three levels of communities within the Georgia Main Street Program: Downtown Affiliate Networks, Classic Main Street Programs, and Georgia’s Exceptional Main Streets (GEMS). Gordon announced the City of Dallas is currently at the Affiliate Network level but after Dallas’ annual assessment in January 2023, Downtown Dallas has been invited to apply to become a Classic Main Street Program. According to Georgia Main Street’s website, “Classic Main Street communities have set themselves apart by emphasizing historic preservation education and economic development, leading to an active and vibrant downtown.”

Another exciting announcement was made when the City of Dallas introduced Dallas’ first Pop- up Food Truck Park. The park will launch at the Night Market at Courthouse Square on April 28, 2023, at the old Bus Stop Café parking lot at 210 West Memorial Drive with four food trucks. The food trucks include The Cheezy Truck, Gaston Street Eats, Pork Choppers, and Fire and Ice Frozen Treats. The City of Dallas will supply the Food Truck Park with portable toilets and picnic tables, and the surrounding green grass is the perfect place for yard games. The Night Market will feature about 25 vendors selling handmade and homegrown items. Vendorsw will be set up on Courthouse Square.

The evening’s winners include:

Outstanding Promotional Event: Tin Bucket Mercantile for Christmas in July

Outstanding Brick and Mortar Rehabilitation: Georgia Highlands College

Outstanding Special Project: Dallas Merchants Association for Festival of Trees

Golden Broom Award: Tin Bucket Mercantile

New Business of the Year: Good Stuff Coffeehouse

Entrepreneurs of the Year: Andrew and Angelica Rodriguez

Community Builder: Jim Henson

Community Engagement Award: Vintage Wine Bar

Volunteers of the Year: Garland and Debbie Self

Platinum Business for Over 20 Years of Business in Downtown Dallas: Art Things of Dallas

Platinum Business for Over 40 Years of Business in Downtown Dallas: Paulding Trophy

Golden Business for Over 50 Years of Business in Downtown Dallas: Beauty Nook

Lifetime Achievement for Over 100 Years of Business in Downtown Dallas: Dallas New Era

The Downtown First Awards was a beautiful evening celebrating those who make Downtown Dallas the charming downtown that it is. The ceremony will take place annually. For questions or additional information regarding the Downtown First Awards, please contact Shannon Gordon at [email protected] or 770-443-8110 extension 1213.