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Ashland historic Main Street recognized at state level

ASHLAND, WI– Ashland’s historic downtown district is constantly evolving and growing.

The 8-block Main Street offers everything from restaurants, retail, professional services and much more.

This year, Main Street got special recognition for its vibrancy and economic role in the state.

Every town has one, Main Street which plays a vital role in the economy, but some Main Streets are more lively than others.

“There are all sorts of things that draw people downtown and that’s why it’s vibrant and that’s why people like to come here,” says Mary McPhetridge, Executive Director with the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce.

From retail to gifts, entertainment, and of course food. This Main Street stays true to its roots.

McPhetridge says, “Every retail operation here in Main Street in the historic district, which is the 8 block district is locally owned and operated.”

Each of those businesses playing a role in a special award for the district. “Recently, we were chosen as one of six communities to participate in the state of Wisconsin Main Street Day.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation recognizes Main Streets throughout the state focusing on their quirks and economic role in the state. “They choose six communities throughout the state where you have a lot of vibrancy and things going on and we’ve been chosen three years in a row.”

Business owners rely heavily on foot traffic, locals, and tourist to make a living.  Owners say, having their shops on Main Street just makes sense.

Gabriele Block, owner of Gabriele’s German Sweets on Main Street says, “It’s progressive, there’s something new all the time. There’s a lot of old all the time which is awesome. Things are preserved.”

The sweet shop has been on Main Street for 15 years. Block says the success of the area isn’t just about one business.  “There’s an awesome business community. We all kind of work together, help each other out.”

History, art, and vivacious storefronts making for one unique spot on the map. McPhetridge says “There’s a community feel, there’s ownership, people are committed to the area.”


Jessie Slater

Evening Anchor and Reporter

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