History, Charm, Community

May 14, 2024 | Businesses, Communities, DeFuniak Springs, Walton & Beyond

Main Street Image with Vintage Car

Main Street DeFuniak Springs preserves the past and celebrates the present 

By Wendy O. Dixon 

America’s main street businesses bring an all’s-right-with-the-world quality to any small town. With owner-operated shops that meet a neighborhood’s everyday needs, these vitally important stores help people feel like they’re part of a friendly community. 

A stellar example is Main Street DeFuniak Springs. The organization aims to protect, maintain and improve the historic downtown district of DeFuniak Springs and to increase community events and economic vitality to the downtown business district. The vibe is cool, the streets are alive and everyone has a good time.  

Beautiful Mural in Main Street District

It is more than just an event-driven organization, they are tireless in their commitment to elevate Baldwin Avenue for the community and businesses alike. For another year in a row, Main Street DeFuniak Springs has earned accreditation from both National Main Street Center and Florida Main Street for 2024. This honor is for participating programs that continue to embrace areas that celebrate community character, preserve local history, partner with local organizations and government entities, and generate impressive economic returns. “We’re excited to be accredited both nationally and with the State of Florida,” Executive Director Rachel Conort says. “There is a lot in the works this year and we’re excited to be able to share it with the community.”  

Exterior Storefront of Main Street

Main Street programs are evaluated based on four pillars – economic vitality, promotion, organization, and design and beautification. Rachel says, “We ask: Are we making our downtown sustainable so people can walk around, shop in and do life in? Are we revitalizing what we can? And what are we doing that helps enhance the charm of the downtown district?”  

Rachel also reports that Main Street recently rebranded the farmers market, which is open every Saturday for 37 weeks of the year. “DeFuniak was originally made up of farms, so this is a great market,” Rachel says. “We’ve added special events to draw a crowd that may not know what a farmers market consists of.  This summer you’ll see us partnering with various organizations and kicking off the campaign “Sweet Summer on Baldwin.” 

Farmer's Market Vendor talking to customer

Main Street DeFuniak Springs will announce exciting things coming in the next few months. Keep up with the happenings at HWY331.com.  

Learn more about Main Street Defuniak Springs on their website, https://mainstreetdfs.org/.

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