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Belmont’s Main Street Program, volunteers recognized

Seated L-R: Emily Rudisill (Design Chair), Phil Boggan (Downtown Director), Sr. Nancy Nance (Promotions Chair), Angela Street (Board Chair). Standing L-R: Elizabeth Simcox (Board Member), Al Wall (Board Member), Mark Fisher (Economic Vitality Chair), Amy Bossard (Board Member), Cassidy Lackey (Events Coordinator). Photo by Dodie Huffman at Allure Wedding Photography

By Jamie Campbell

The illuminated “GOBO” projections in downtown Belmont were recognized at the annual North Carolina Main Street Conference with the “Best Innovation” award.  The lighted, highly visible “billboard” is used to market and promote local events and holidays in Downtown Belmont.  The “Best Innovation” award was presented to representatives from the Belmont Main Street Board on March 12, at the state conference held in New Bern, North Carolina.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Main Street and Rural Planning Center recognizes the hard work, dedication and success of Main Street communities and their achievements in the four points of the Main Street Approach to downtown revitalization: Organization, Economic Vitality, Promotion, and Design.  The Best Innovation award recognizes worthy examples of creative innovation in downtown utilizing new technology to address issues or strategies such as traffic, parking, or marketing.

The Belmont Main Street program works with a professional stage lighting company to develop the GOBO images that are projected onto the side of a prominent building in downtown, right next to City Hall.  The GOBO projections have

drawn a lot of attention from residents, business owners, and visitors, and are frequently used as a backdrop for pictures that are shared on social media.  Kevin Jonas, Sr, the father of the Jonas Brothers and owner of Nellie’s Southern Kitchen in Belmont worked with city staff to create a GOBO projection for Nick and Priyanka’s wedding reception that was held in Belmont in early 2019.  

These billboard images have increased awareness for local events and have significantly increased sponsorship donations for the many events that the Main Street/Downtown Belmont Development Association (DBDA) board executes each year including: the Friday Night Live Concerts, Belmont Christmas Village, and the newly created Belmont Blooms.  In 2019 the Belmont Main Street program and the DBDA generated more money than in previous years.  As a result they have been able to invest more money back into the community.  The GOBO currently displayed is promoting the upcoming Belmont Blooms Celebration that kicks off with the Light The Night Art Parade on Friday, March 27th at 8 PM in downtown Belmont.

At the same conference, long time Main Street Board member Angela Street was presented with the Main Street Champion award.  She is currently serving as the Main Street Board President, but previously served as the Main Street Design Committee Chair for multiple years.  During her tenure as the Design Committee chair, Angela and her committee of local volunteers worked to increase public art in downtown as well as developed a history walking tour app called Belmont Go.  When asked about Angela’s contribution to the Main Street Program and to Downtown Belmont, Downtown Director Phil Boggan stated, “to call Angela just a Main Street Champion would be an understatement.  She has held multiple positions on Main Street Board committees and has contributed countless hours volunteering for special projects and events.  Angela is never far from the pulse of downtown.  She exemplifies the description of a true Main Street Champion!”

Multiple Main Street Board members and City Staff were present at the Main Street Conference this week to celebrate the outstanding achievements, hard work, and impact of this board in our community.