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September 23, 2003

PARIS’S HISTORIC DOWNTOWN A MUST-SEE WITH SUPPORT OF LT. GOV. QUINN, MAIN STREET PROGRAM Holiday Festivities Draw Visitors Far And Wide To The New And Improved Community

PARIS, IL. – Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn visited Paris today to pledge his support for the Illinois Main Street Program and commend the community of Paris for their recent initiatives to renovate and revitalize their downtown business district.
         “The spirit, dedication, and sense of pride of the people of Paris can clearly be seen through the energy they have put into their historic downtown,” Quinn said after his visit to the Main Street community.
         Quinn was joined at the press conference by Paris Mayor Craig Smith, Paris Main Street Coordinator Kim Stewart, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and Main Street board members at the site of the historic Paris City Hall.
The Lt. Governor’s Office administers the Illinois Main Street Program which is based on a national model that offers communities help with downtown improvements, historic preservation and economic development. Although the nationally acclaimed program that promotes volunteerism feel victim to arbitrary budget cuts last year, Quinn has vowed to revitalize the program.
  “The purpose of the Main Street Program is to rebuild the downtown areas of communities that together create the patchwork of Illinois significant history, and individually provide a sense of pride and the local story of those townspeople,” stated Quinn. “The community of Paris is a great example of how a community’s involvement with the program can produce some exciting results.”
The residents of Paris have seen remarkable improvements to their historic downtown area due to the recently completed streetscape project funded by the City of Paris.  A number of buildings around the city square have utilized the Main Street architectural designs.  Additionally, a municipal parking lot adjacent to the square will soon be refurbished to better accommodate residents and visitors alike.
Drawing visitors far and wide are upcoming events sponsored by Paris Main Street including Halloween Trick or Treat Around the Square, Thanksgiving Turkey Trot Around the Square and Christmas on the Square.
Paris was recognized for their great efforts and achievements during the 2203 Main Street Statewide Conference held in Elgin, IL. The community received Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization in the areas of Ongoing Downtown Event and Best Special Event or Festival.
The Main Street Program is one of long-time consumer advocate Lt. Governor Pat Quinn’s key initiatives to join together the people of Illinois with the common goal of portraying this state’s celebrated assets
The National Main Street Program is designed to improve all aspects of the downtown or central business district. Improving economic management, strengthening public participation, and making downtown an enjoyable place to visit are as critical to Main Street’s future as recruiting new businesses, rehabilitating buildings, and expanding parking.
Illinois is one of 40 states that belong to the national Main Street program, administered through the National Trust for historic Preservation.


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