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Taneytown’s Main Street serves up fun

Danielle Ryan

(8/26) Thurmont isn’t the only local Town that has a Main Street Program; our very own Taneytown is also a Main Street accredited community that has been offering so much to the town.

Main Street Programs in Maryland are downtown revitalization programs that were created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The program, as a whole, strives to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods by providing state funding to help enhance the community’s appearance, economy and image.

Taneytown Main Street has been in place since 2001, and holds true to its mission of striving to "create a charming traditional main street character, with amenities designed to promote pedestrian activity that will make the district and town a destination place for all to see." The events brought to the town thus far, as a result of the Main Street Program, have been enjoyed by community members within and outside Taneytown.

Nancy McCormick, Taneytown’s Economic Development Director worked with Vickie Grinder, Thurmont’s Main Street Manager, to help with their Main Street application. The process is rather intensive, as many qualifications must be met in order for the town to be accredited. Having been through the process once already, McCormick was a big help to Thurmont as the town prepared the application for submission.

As a member of the same program, Taneytown must also maintain several key elements in order to retain the title of a Main Street accredited community. Some of these required elements include: public outreach, programming, economic development, sustainable practices, and the creation of a business-friendly environment.

Taneytown Main Street has been responsible for a variety of community events that are enjoyed by all. The First Harvest Fest and Tails of Taneytown, Swing into Spring, the Wine and Art Fest, the Farmers Market, the celebration and lighting of the Christmas downtown during the holiday season and the annual Elf Hunt, just to name a few.

The Main street program has not only made wonderful events possible in the town, but has helped the town in so many other ways. The restoration of the Ziles Ice Cream mural in town was paid for with the help of the Main Street funds. This mural is a rather special mural that dates back to 1927, and the restoration could only have been made possible with the help of the Main Street Program funds.

In addition to the rehabilitation of the Ziles Ice Cream mural, Taneytown Main Street has also given over $200,000 in façade grants for the rehabilitation of other buildings and signage within the town. The program has also allowed Taneytown to bring in top consultants in marketing, design and economic restructuring. These consultants have worked with past and current business owners and will surely work with business owners in the future.

As a result of their Main Street designation, Taneytown has been given the honor of becoming a Civil War Heritage designated point and the town also now has an increased possibility of receiving grants.

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