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  • Writer's pictureFernandina Beach Main Street

Year-End Newsletter

Recognition by the Florida Department of State


Florida Main Street Program of the Month



Fernandina Beach Main Street is excited to announce that it has been designated by the Florida Department of State as the November 2023 Florida Main Street Program of the Month.


“Fernandina Beach Main Street has been an exemplary Florida Main Street for the past nine years,” said Secretary of State Cord Byrd. “Not only does the program cherish and celebrate the city’s long and storied history, it provides support that ensures growth in its professional and residential communities for generations to come.”


During its nine-year tenure, FBMS has installed downtown wayfinding signs, created a Butterfly Garden next to the Welcome Depot, introduced a Curb Appeal Award, and organized regular networking and educational workshops for local businesses. FBMS also manages the city's Memorial Bench program and contributes to downtown landscape improvement and streetscape revitalization projects. FBMS recently announced a Façade Improvement Matching Grant program designed to assist property and business owners with exterior improvements to their buildings. The organization hosts several annual events designed to bring residents and visitors into the historic downtown and 8th Street business districts, including the popular Sip & Shop, 8th Street Pup Crawl, Black Friday Pajama Party, and Island Hop Craft Beer Festival.


Lisa Finkelstein, the Executive Director of FBMS, is excited by the community's energy and collaborations with other nonprofit organizations and the City of Fernandina Beach. "We are honored to be recognized as the Florida Main Street Program of the Month,” said Director Finkelstein. “We plan to continue our work to support local businesses through promotion, information, and advocacy, maintaining a vibrant, business-friendly historic community that is a destination for us all."


 

4 Council Updates


A Main Street America™ program's work is organized around Four Points: Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization. Councils representing these four points are key to accurately representing the Fernandina Beach community as we identify their unique competitive advantage, leverage the power of residents and local stakeholders, and implement a series of short-and-long-term projects. Learn about the recent updates and projects our Councils have been working on:


Economic Vitality:

Focuses on capital incentives and other financial tools to assist new and existing businesses.


- We’ve Increased the number of listings on Distrx - a free app that features local shops, restaurants, and events – to 75 businesses; that’s 60% of our community’s retail stores and restaurants! This holiday season, we encourage everyone to download the app and use it to find promotions at local stores, take a tour of historic buildings and the businesses that occupy them, and check out the many events planned for the next few months.


- We’re accepting nominations for the 4th Quarter Curb Appeal Award! This award is given to the Main Street business or property that demonstrates an exemplary commitment to community pride and aesthetic charm. If you've spotted a building with improvements in paint, awnings, windows, signage, landscape or anything that makes Fernandina Beach a more beautiful place, let us know by nominating them for this recognition!

Design:

Supports historic preservation by enhancing the physical and visual elements of our business district.


- We’re currently working with municipal partners and stakeholders on key projects related to the Downtown Streetscape, including securing a landscape design plan for Centre Street from

Horizon Landscape which we’ve presented to the city.


- We’re also in the process of compiling streetscape standards into a handbook which will be

included as part of the master revitalization plan for downtown.


- We’re beginning our work on the 2024 Preservation Awards and Tour. These biennial events are critical in bringing awareness and education to our community.

Promotions:

Hosts events which showcase Main Street Members & Partners and encourage the “buy local” experience.


- We’re featuring social media Member Spotlights throughout the year to draw attention to our local businesses.


- We’ve been hard at work planning for the holiday season’s signature event, the extremely popular Black Friday Pajama Party! Featuring special store discounts, a pajama costume

contest, music, and a variety of entertainment, this event is certain to get everyone in the holiday spirit.


"The Pajama Party is one of the most important holiday shopping days for my business and many others downtown. People coming from all over to enjoy the fun day and get their holiday shopping done at our unique small businesses." - Theresa Duncan, Main Street board chair and co-owner of Villa Villekulla Toy Store.


- We’re already looking forward to 2024! Our Winter Sip-and-Shop will be held on Friday, January 19. Check out below for more information about this event and how you can get involved.

Organization:

Responsible for fundraising, marketing, and collaboration with external organizations.



- We’re holding the inaugural Member/Partner Appreciation Event on Giving Tuesday, November 28th. Main Street supporters will hear about 2023 accomplishments while enjoying appetizers and drinks at the Residence Inn – themselves a Gold Level Sponsor. We will also share a sneak peek of projects and events planned for 2024. The Member/Partner Program provides ongoing annual support for all Main Street initiatives. Any business or individual interested in supporting preservation-based economic vitality in our historic downtown and 8th Street business districts can become a Main Street Member/Partner. Click here to learn more about recognition levels and how to make your contribution.


- We’re excited to report yet another successful edition of the Island Hop Craft Beer Fest! What began in 2021 as a fun way to raise support for Main Street – not to mention our local breweries and distilleries - has quickly grown into one of Northeast Florida’s premier events. This year’s Island Hop hosted 24 brewers & distillers and attracted nearly 2,000 attendees! Funds from Island Hop are being invested into the local community through the newly created Facade Improvement Program Matching Grant.


 

Upcoming Events

Join us for fun and community!



Thursday, Dec. 7 through Sunday, Dec. 10


Dickens on Centre


Travel back in time December 7-10, 2023 during the ninth annual Dickens on Centre festival in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida, on beautiful Amelia Island. Free to the public, this Victorian holiday festival is sure to enliven your Christmas spirit. Throughout the weekend, feel the spirit of the holiday with Victorian-inspired entertainment on two stages. Families will enjoy a plethora of fun including Tiny Tim's Kids Zone, visits with St. Nick, holiday entertainment and shopping, festive food and drink, costumed characters, holiday movies and plenty of Christmas inspiration.


Details of all events that are part of Dickens on Centre can be found here: https://www.ameliaisland.com/dickens



Friday, January 19


Winter Sip & Shop


Fernandina Beach Main Street will hold its 5th Annual Winter Sip and Shop on Friday, January 19, from 4 to 7 PM. This will kick off Winter Restaurant Week in downtown Fernandina Beach where more than 20 retail shops will remain open late and provide sips of wine to enjoy while shopping. Shoppers will receive a souvenir insulated Main Street wine cup with registration.


Shoppers can check in at the Pocket Park next to Amelia Island Coffee on Centre Street to receive their wine cup, event map, and wristband beginning at 4PM. Participants must be at least 21 years of age and proof of age is required. Tickets are $20 when purchased in advance. Additional tickets can be purchased the day of the event at registration for a price of $25 each. This event will be held rain or shine.


Main Street volunteers will assist in the shops during the event. To purchase tickets for Sip and Shop, please go to https://events.humanitix.com/winter-sip-and-shop-2024


To become a volunteer for this event, please send an email to lisa@fernandinamainstreet.com.

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