Saturday, June 4

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Illinois celebrates inaugural
Main Street Day         
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General Assembly passes legislation commemorating nationally honored community revitalization program

[JUNE 4, 2005]  SPRINGFIELD -- Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn announced plans at a Main Street Advisory Council meeting on Wednesday to observe the first Main Street Day in Illinois.

On May 30, the General Assembly adopted Senate Joint Resolution 10, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Halvorson, D-Crete, and Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, making the first Saturday in June of every year Main Street Day in Illinois.

Illinois Main Street is a community revitalization program that promotes historic preservation and economic development in downtown business districts. Improving economic management, strengthening public participation and making downtown a fun place to visit are critical to the future of Main Street communities.

A seven-member advisory council chaired by the lieutenant governor oversees the Illinois Main Street program.

In honor of the first Main Street Day in Illinois, Quinn is encouraging Illinois residents to visit Main Street communities and learn about local history. Some upcoming summer events include Dixon's Reagan 5K Run/Walk, Civil War re-enactments in Jacksonville, a dog parade in Lincoln, an outdoor movie fest in Elizabethtown, a Corvette show in St. Charles and farmers' markets in 25 Main Street communities across the state.

Last summer Quinn promoted heritage-based tourism by driving to eight Main Street communities along Route 66. He rode in a classic 1954 Chevy sedan and made stops in Plainfield, Dwight, Pontiac, Bloomington, Lincoln, Springfield, Staunton and Collinsville.

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This year, Quinn plans to kick off the historic Dixie Highway tour on June 18. The tour starts in Blue Island, then heads to Momence and Danville -- all Main Street communities.

"Traveling to these Main Street communities is a great way to rediscover historic routes and find treasures in our midst," Quinn said. "Summertime is a great time to have fun exploring the Land of Lincoln."

Quinn also noted some innovative and successful Main Street projects like Quincy's "It's All About Me Thursdays," Macomb's "Park 'n Cruise Night," St. Charles' Downtown Fine Art Show and fašade renovations in Waukegan and Paris.

There are 58 Main Street communities in Illinois and 18 communities at the introductory level.

Quinn's office recently launched a new website highlighting upcoming events, tour information and town history of Main Street communities in Illinois. Explore these communities this summer by visiting www.illinoismainstreet.org.

[News release from the lieutenant governor's office]

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