By: Brittany Racca
The city of New Iberia has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center.
Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach®.
"Once again, we are thrilled to recognize this year's nationally accredited Main Street America communities for their outstanding work," said Patrice Frey, president & CEO of the National Main Street Center. "We are experiencing an exciting era for America's cities and towns, with a growing recognition of the importance of strong local enterprise, distinctive character, engaged residents, and sense of place. These are things that Main Street America programs have been working to protect and advance for years, strengthening the economic, social, and cultural fabric of communities across the country.
A dynamic Main Street Program
New Iberia is one of the few cities across the country that has earned the highest of Main Street rankings including the 2005 Great American Main Street designation (still only one of two in Louisiana and the 1st) and a 2016 nationally accredited Main Street program with a program directed by a nationally certified program director.
"The New Iberia Main Street Program earning this national accreditation is a significant achievement not only for the program, but an accomplishment earned alongside strong community partners like Iberia Cultural Resources Association, Bayou Teche Museum, Iberia Performing Arts League, Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce, the New Iberia Downtown Business Association, Shadows-on-the-Teche, Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, Iberia Industrial Development Foundation and more," said Jane Braud, New Iberia Main Street Program director.
In addition to its beautiful architecture, antique shops, specialty boutiques, art, museums, music and restaurants, Main Street New Iberia offers various events throughout the year, including a farmers market, patriotic events, festivals, performances, art and holiday activities. For a complete list of Iberia Parish happenings, visit our event calendar.
Se along the Bayou Teche National Paddle Trail, Main Street is the backdrop of many Dave Robicheaux novels. In A Stained White Radiance, James Lee Burke's famous detective says it is "probably one of the most beautiful streets in the Old South or perhaps the whole country."
Commercial, residential and James Lee Burke walking tour maps are available at the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. Trilingual markers and interpretive kiosks also provide information on the area's history and culture.
"We all work very hard in promoting New Iberia as a destination steeped in culture, art, music, culinary arts and theater," Braud added. "This, combined with our strong work ethic, large number of economic opportunities and beautiful attractions that draw in visitors from all over the world help make us a success."
About Main Street America
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $65.6 billion in new public and private investment, generated 556,960 net new jobs and 126,476 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 260,000 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.