Sykesville officials learned Tuesday morning that the town has been named a semifinalist in a national competition for the title of Best Main Street of America.
Julie Della-Maria, executive director of the Downtown Sykesville Connection, was thrilled to hear the news.
“I’m already super excited,” she said. “It’s like when you buy your lottery tickets and you just got your numbers, you think the entire time until the drawing what you’re going to do with the money.”
The grand prize for the contest is $25,000 and, according to Della-Maria, a large portion will go to small businesses in Sykesville. The contest is presented by Independent We Stand, an organization that promotes buying local and supporting small businesses across the country, according to its website.
The Downtown Sykesville Connection has been advertising the contest and working to get votes around the clock, according to Della-Maria.
While they wait to see if the town will win the grand prize, Downtown Sykesville Connection is putting together a summary for the judges about what makes Sykesville unique so they are ready to submit it at the judges’ request. The voting phases in which residents could weigh in are now over.
“You don’t do it if you don’t expect to make it this far,” she said. “We did everything we could to make it there. We would have been very disappointed if you didn’t make it there.”
Sykesville is the only Main Street in Maryland still in the contest, with New Market’s Main Street in Frederick County not making the latest cut. According to Della-Maria, Sykesville is also the smallest Main Street out of the 10 semifinalists.
If Sykesville were to win, it wouldn’t be the first contest like this it has won. In 2016, the town won the title of Budget Travel magazine’s Coolest Small Town in America.