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First the Coolest Small Town, now the Best Main Street? Sykesville nominated for national contest

Sykesville’s Main Street has been nominated as one of more than 60 other Main Streets to compete for the title of Best Main Street of America.

Main Street in Sykesville and New Market’s Main Street in Frederick County are the only ones in Maryland that have been nominated for the contest, which is presented by Independent We Stand, an organization that promotes buying local and supporting small businesses across the country, according to its website.

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According to the contest’s website, criteria in the application for nominations include explaining why their Main Street should win and what they might do with the $25,000 grand prize.

Julie Della-Maria, executive director of Downtown Sykesville Connection, applied for Sykesville and heard back from the contest being told that Sykesville Main Street was selected as a nominee.

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The contest is currently in the voting stage, and supporters can vote up to 25 times a day on their nominee page, which can be found at www.mainstreetcontest.com. The first stage of voting ends April 19 and will then move to voting for the quarter-finalists.

If Sykesville Main Street makes it to the next round of voting, the town is planning its own way to celebrate.

“We have the Art and Wine Festival on May 3, so we hope to turn the Art and Wine Festival, if we make it to the quarter-finals, into a voting party, where we’re going to remind our guests that they can vote up to 25 times and that they can invite their friends to do the same and share that on social media,” Della-Maria said.

Voting for semifinalists will take place between April 19 and May 24. The grand-prize winner will be announced May 27.

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If Sykesville were to win, it wouldn’t be the first contest like this it has won. In 2016, Sykesville won the title of Budget Travel magazine’s Coolest Small Town in America.

According to Della-Maria, members of the community are already showing their support.

“Coolest Small Town in America was in 2016, and we decided to ignore a lot of contests since then just because it’s a lot to ask people to spend that much time online to support your town, but I think it was the right time because we already saw how people are reacting to it," Della-Maria said. “Everyone seems excited. We already have seen a few Main Street champions that have taken it upon themselves to post every day ‘Hey, did you vote?' So, I guess we waited the right amount of time for people to be excited again.”

If Sykesville wins, Della-Maria couldn’t go into detail on how they would spend the grand-prize money, but said, “There’s so many cool things we can do with $25,000.”

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