The historic downtown area of Thibodaux, Louisiana has been restored, rejuvenated, and preserved, as reported by the LaFourcheGazette this summer.
The project that entailed masonry, industrial, commercial, and community design had been spear-headed by the non-profit Downtown Thibodaux Main Street Incorporation and its Executive Director, Danielle Stein. Known as the “Wonder Woman” of Main St, Stein became the Executive Director of Thibodaux Main Street, Inc in January of 2018, where she had a clear vision of what the Downtown hub could become in the following years.
Although Thibodaux Main Street Inc. was established back in 2002, it wasn’t until 2009 that they were recognized state-wide as an official “Louisiana Main Street,” which is a highly-regarded state coordinated program.
Prior to becoming the Executive Director of the Main Street effort, Stein had become increasingly more involved in the Thibodaux community during her time at Thibodaux’s own Donner-Peltier Distillers. That passion to be an involved, familiar face of the local community projected her forward to becoming the Ambassador of the Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce and a board member.
Stein then began advocating for the needs of the smaller businesses of Thibodaux and assisting in downtown initiatives. She mentions in her profile interview, conducted by the LaFourche Gazette, that she wants the local community to not only take great pride in where they live but also understand the grander significance of supporting local small business by regularly shopping downtown. Stein added, We have to reinvest our money in the community where we live, because we want to grow and thrive.”
During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, when businesses in the Downtown Thibodaux area were closed due to Phase 1 restrictions, the local business leaders began to find alternative ways they could service their customer base. This resulted in the establishment of curbside pickup and delivery options, which garnered praise from the customers. While thankful for the recognition, Stein wants the community to be aware that to best support Main Street, these services will have to continue to be utilized throughout the calendar year.
Earlier this summer, as announced by Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and Louisiana Main Street, 23 Louisiana communities had been designated as 2020 Accredited Main Street American programs. This status of accreditation is Main Street America’s top-tier recognition demonstrating a commitment to a comprehensive revitalization of commercial districts as well as a proven track record of successfully implementing the Main Street Approach.
Regarding the 23 communities receiving accreditation and recognition, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser was quoted by the Miden-Press Herald as saying, ““Our small business owners are the heartbeat of our Main Street communities. They give the community its sense of place and character and provide the uniqueness that sets one community apart from another.”
This recent accreditation is far from being the only accolade Thibodaux or Lafourche Parish has receive in recent years, as both have been the recipients of a USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards nomination for “Best Small Town Food Scene” for 2020, where they took 3rd place.
Stein recognizes that from a national perspective, that acknowledgement says a lot about the Thibodaux community and the parish as a whole, adding a new motivation for the Main Street restoration project.
In the 2020 summer, a beautification campaign was implemented, resulting in restoration of the Downtown Thibodaux sidewalks, an application for a mural installation grant being filed, and promotional yard signs and window decals being placed all throughout the area, promoting the Downtown Thibodaux scene’s revitalization with a new slogan: “Downtown Thibodaux – We’re Open.”
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