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Submissions Deadline

September 30, 2022 (5pm) 

NC Main Street Champion Nominations


Nominations Word Document

Online Portal Link

NC Small Town Main Street Award Nominations


Nominations Word Document

Nominations Budget

Online Portal Link


NC Main Street 

Trek On Down


Main Street

March 14-16, 2023

Statesville, NC

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2022 Heritage Sponsors

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2022 Legacy Sponsors

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2022 Tradition Sponsors

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2022 Preservation Sponsors

ACSM, Inc.        Artificial Ice Events        Benchmark Planning        Glen Rave, Inc        Haven Creative Agency        NC Economic Development 

Partner Community Capital        Rehab Development        The Bogle Firm Architecture       Wonder Guides


Please register below based on your level of participation


To register for the actual conference - during the process you will have the option to register for the Awards and Champion Ceremonies


For people who are not attending the virtual conference but want the link for the virtual awards ceremony


For people who are not attending the virtual  conference but want to secure a free ticket to attend the virtual  champion ceremony

Virtual Conference Rates

Full Conference Rates


  • Conference Registration

  • Optional Wednesday Award Ceremony

  • Optional Thursday Champion Recognition  


  • $185   Early Bird Rate    

    • 1/06/22 - 2/15/22        

  • $200   Regular Rate    

    • 2/16/22 - 3/01/22

  • $255   Late Full Rate        

    • 3/02/22 OR on site if event is not sold out

Daily Conference Rates


  • Conference Registration

  • Optional Wednesday Award Ceremony

  • Optional Thursday Champion Recognition


  • $160    Tuesday Only Rate           

    • 1/06/22 - 3/01/22   

  • $160    Wednesday Only Rate      

    • 1/06/22 - 3/01/22   

  • $195     Late Rate - Either Days         

    • 3/02/22 OR on site if event is not sold out

Student Conference Rates


  • Conference Registration

  • Optional Wednesday Award Ceremony

  • Optional Thursday Champion Recognition

Pricing: Student ID Required at Check In

  • $145    Full Conference Rate                 

    • 1/06/22 - 3/01/22        

  • $125    Tuesday Only Rate              

    • 1/06/22 - 3/01/22         

  • $125   Wednesday Only Rate     

    • 1/06/22 - 3/01/22 

  • $180    Late Full Rate

    • 3/02/22 OR on site if event is not sold out  

  • $160    Late Day Rate - Either Days   

    • 3/02/22 OR on site if event is not sold out

2022 Virtual Conference Information

The NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center is committed to providing premier training and education during the annual NC Main Street Conference, the nation’s largest statewide downtown revitalization conference. 


Considering these priorities, our team has been closely monitoring event guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the NC Department of Health of Human Services (NCDHHS), and consulting with the NC Department of Commerce leadership and healthcare professionals in Iredell County and Statesville. 


In an abundance of caution, and like many organizations, we have made the difficult decision to transition the 2022 NC Main Street Conference to a virtual platform to safely provide the same high-quality learning that is synonymous with the annual event.  

Like last year’s event, we will setup a conference platform to engage with presenters, exhibitors, and attendees during the virtual event.  


We look forward to seeing you online in March! 


If you HAVE already registered:

  • If you plan to attend the conference virtually and have already registered, you do not need to register again. 

  • Closer to the time of the conference, those that have registered for the FULL conference will be sent instructions on how to update their own conference  profile page.  Start working on your bio and find that awesome headshot!

  • Per our policy, you may request a full refund minus a 10% administrative fee in writing by March 1, 2022, at  

  • If you paid for the awards ceremony, you will automatically receive a full refund of $45 per person on Monday, 1/24/22, and this typically takes a few days.  


If you HAVE NOT registered:

  • Look over the website for exciting classes that you can take, while staying safe in your own community!

  • Register based on your level of participation. 

  • IMPORTANT:  If you don't want to join the full conference, but want to watch the awards ceremony, and/or champion ceremony, you MUST register so that we can send you a link the day before the ceremony.  

  • Closer to the time of the conference, those that have registered for the FULL conference will be sent instructions on how to update their own conference  profile page.  Start working on your bio and find that awesome headshot!


We look forward to seeing you online in March!


Conference Schedule:

The conference schedule will remain the same, with the exception of not having the welcome reception and in person tours.  There may be some time adjustments to the current schedule. We will update the website and the conference pdf brochure in the near future.



If you booked your hotel, please cancel them soon so that the hotels may book your room.  Click HERE for the PDF of the local hotels.


Registration Questions:

Sharon Tripp

Registration Coordinator

CE Credits:

  • APA CE credits #9228335 may be found HERE

  • NCBOLA credits have been submitted - pending approval of 10 hours.  Contact NCBOLA HERE


"This conference has been funded in part by a grant from the Terence L. Mills Fund for North and South Carolina of the National Trust for Historic Preservation."


Healthy Communities Begin on Main Street

The effects of COVID-19 over the last two years have left rural communities and Main Street programs feeling like they were on a rough roller coaster ride. Yet, despite the hardships that community leaders, local governments, business and property owners, and citizens have endured, an underlying motivation to make North Carolina towns and cities healthier and more resilient has been rekindled from the embers of the global pandemic.


Healthy Communities Begin on Main Street is an exploration of the many ways that Main Street programs, in collaboration with their stakeholders and partners, are incorporating healthy lifestyle best practices into their downtown economic development strategies and implementation plans. Between food, infrastructure, housing, education, job creation, equity and inclusion, and quality of life initiatives, Main Street programs are working with the public and private sectors to make significant improvements in their downtown districts.


The 2022 North Carolina Main Street Conference will explore communities that are offering healthy living opportunities for residents, while also positioning themselves for increased investment and job creation. Urban agriculture initiatives and the mitigation of food deserts are improving access to healthy food options. Inclusive playground building, public space enhancements, and the intersection of trail development and downtown are increasing opportunities for daily physical activity. From tiny house developments to mill redevelopment and upper story lofts, workforce housing is being addressed with creativity and investment. Downtown educational facilities are reconnecting youth with the hearts of communities. Small businesses are still the number one job creation sector and communities that are embracing small business support as an economic development strategy are seeing significant job growth and retention. The 2020 census demonstrated the diversification of our state’s population that is spurring downtown programming to be more equitable and inclusive. And the resurgence of quality of life initiatives are drawing people together in downtown in new, innovative, ways. North Carolina Main Street communities, have seen more than $4 billion in investment since the inception of the program in 1980, and more than $453 million in investment in fiscal year 2020-2021. Healthy community initiatives are leveraging many of these investments, rebuilding downtowns to serve as neighborhoods for everyone, and bringing communities together to address common goals.


The North Carolina Main Street Conference is the largest statewide downtown revitalization conference in the country. Attendees include downtown economic development professionals, elected officials and local government staff, rural leaders, volunteers, business and property owners, consultants, vendors, and sponsors that are all interested in trends, initiatives, and success stories they can use to leverage downtown and community revitalization in their own communities.


This milestone event will be held virtually in 2022 due to the pandemic. Our commitment to safety will not diminish the high-quality learning experience that you will receive at this year’s conference. Expect a mix of inspiring keynotes, engaging plenary and break-out sessions, and a downtown toolkit of pre-recorded sessions with experienced presenters that you can listen to repeatedly and at your convenience. This year’s conference will provide you with the tools, data, and knowledge to take on any challenge that comes your way. The North Carolina Main Street Conference offers the most innovative approaches to downtown revitalization and redevelopment available in the state and, perhaps, in the southeast.


We will see you on the computer in March!

2022 Keynote Speakers


Mark Fenton


Tuesday | 3:15

Mark Fenton is a nationally recognized public health, planning, and transportation consultant, an adjunct associate professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and former host of the America’s Walking series on PBS television. He has consulted with the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Safe Routes to School and Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Mark has also led training and planning processes for pedestrian, bicycle, and transit-friendly designs in communities across the United States, Canada, and Australia. An important conduit for this work is providing technical assistance to communities through the Centers for Disease Control, YMCAs, community foundations, Main Street organizations, and other public health and community development programs. He studied engineering and biomechanics at the Massachusetts Institute Technology (B.S. and M.S.) and the US Olympic Training Center, managed the Human Performance Laboratory at Reebok, and has published many articles and books related to exercise science, physical activity promotion, and the need for policy interventions to increase active transportation. Mark tries to practice what he preaches, having served as a member and chair of his community’s planning board, and making as many routine trips as possible on foot or by bicycle. Find out more about Mark on his website,

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Melody Warnick


Wednesday | 9:00

Freelance writer Melody Warnick’s book This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are is a practical guide to loving the place where you live that’s been featured in the New York Times, Time magazine, Fast Company, Psychology Today, and others.


A regular speaker about place attachment, Melody also writes for the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, Reader’s Digest, The Guardian, and Woman’s Day. Her second book, If You Could Live Anywhere, about how location-independent people choose where to live and how local economies support their success, comes out from Sourcebooks in June 2022.


Melody lives with her family in Blacksburg, Virginia. You can subscribe to her newsletter and find out more about her mission to spread place love at her website,

2022 Plenary Presenters


Ted Alexander


Tuesday | 4:30

Ted Alexander is currently the Director of the Western Regional Office of Preservation North Carolina, covering 37 counties. He is a current member of the North Carolina Senate, representing District 44 (Cleveland and Lincoln Counties , and two precincts of Gaston County). 


Mr. Alexander has over 40 years of experience in historic preservation and downtown revitalization. He is the recipient of the Robert E. Stipe Professional Award from Preservation North Carolina. Ted was the first Executive Director for Bedford Main Street, Inc. in Bedford, VA and served as the statewide coordinator for the Virginia Main Street program.


In NC, Ted served for nearly 14 years as Executive Director of Uptown Shelby Association, Inc. and served as Mayor of Shelby for two terms. He continues to be involved and is currently Treasurer of the Historic Shelby Foundation.

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Denise Ryan


Tuesday | 5:00

Denise Ryan helps light the fires of enthusiasm, so people can do great things. She is an author, MBA and a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), a designation of excellence that is held by less than 10% of professional speakers.