AUSTIN, Texas — First Lady Anita Perry will join the Texas Historical Commission (THC) for the Texas Main Street Program’s 2014 First Lady’s Tour. The tour is an annual event celebrating Texas Main Street communities and will welcome Sealy, Caldwell and Waco. The schedule includes stops on Thursday, March 27 in Sealy from 9:30-10:45 a.m., in Caldwell from 12:15-1:30 p.m. and in Waco from 3:00-4:15 p.m. The event in each city will include a ceremony and keynote address by the First Lady, a public reception and a brief media session following the ceremony.
“As First Lady of this wonderful state, it has been my privilege over the past 13 years to partner with the Texas Historical Commission on these special Main Street projects. These tours, and the entire Main Street effort, help communities build a better future through an appreciation of the past. As Texans, we are united through our state’s collective history, and it is heartwarming to see local residents working side by side through local Main Street programs to revitalize their historic downtowns. Having grown up in a small Texas town, I have great respect for how much hard work goes into an important community endeavor like this.”
The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) once again sponsors the First Lady’s Tour. "The Independent Bankers Association of Texas has proudly sponsored the First Lady's Main Street Tour for the past 20 years. Community banks have long been the lifeblood of many cities and towns across Texas and we are proud of their contributions to help local communities prosper and main street businesses thrive," said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston.
Accompanying Mrs. Perry will be the chairman of the THC, Matthew Kreisle of Austin, along with several THC Commissioners, IBAT representatives, THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe and other THC staff.
“The Main Street effort in Texas has widespread economic impact in towns of all sizes,” said Chairman Kreisle. “We are pleased to welcome these new participants into the flagship program.”
Each First Lady of Texas since the Texas Main Street Program’s founding in 1981 has participated in this event, which has become a traditional honor for incoming Main Street cities.
The THC’s Texas Main Street Program is a revitalization program for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. Today, there are 87 official Texas Main Street programs. The programs are in communities of all sizes, ranging from less than 2,000 to more than 230,000 in population, and in all areas of Texas. Over time, Texas Main Street communities have realized more than $2.8 billion in economic reinvestment, the creation of more than 30,000 local jobs and the expansion or creation of almost7,800 businesses in their Main Street districts. These reinvestments show that significant economic development impact can be realized through historic preservation.
For more information on the Texas Main Street Program, contact State Coordinator Debra Drescher at 512.463.5758 or visit www.thc.state.tx.us.