Approximately 50 out-of-town guests spent two nights here last month, as Florida Main Street held its winter quarterly meeting in Apalachicola on Jan. 25-26, hosted by Apalachicola Main Street.
Following a welcome address from Mayor Van Johnson, speakers at the meeting, included Bridgette Kelch from Downtown Washington, Inc. in Missouri, Mat Willey from the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Roxxane Manning from the Tallahassee CRA, Eric Haynes from Inner Urban Holdings, and local preservationist Lynn Wilson-Spohrer.
In addition to a day-and-a-half of educational sessions at the Apalachicola Community Center, the group was welcomed with a reception at the home of Lowell and Jan Thomas, had dinner and played trivia at Tamara’s Tapas Bar, and enjoyed a dessert reception at On the Waterfront Gallery.
A walking tour of downtown featured a talk by Dixie Partington at the Dixie Theatre, a talk by Helen Willis-Escobar at the Grady Market, a tour of the Center for History, Culture, and Art hosted by Apalachicola School of Art Director Paulette Moss, and a talk on local history by Tom Daly at RiverfrontPark.
Participants were provided with guide books, maps, and brochures and encouraged to shop, dine, and explore downtown when the meeting adjourned. Group rates for lodging were provided by the Gibson Inn, Best Western, and the River Inn.
Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program administered by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, for traditional historic commercial corridors.
Augusta R. West is executive director of Apalachicola Main Street.