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Oregon Town Named Finalist for Best Main Street in AmericaKevin Hays Salem-News.com
Voting for the champion Main street closes tonight at 11:59 p.m. EST.
(McMINNVILLE, Ore. ) - McMinnville, Oregon is up against Collierville, Tennessee for Parade Magazines contest for the city with the best main street in America.
Sixteen U.S. cities started out in the voting, which has now been narrowed down to the two finalist.
McMinnville, in the heart of the Willamette Valley, has a population of 32,545, and is known for it’s annual Turkey Rama and Alien Daze festivals. The city is midway between the coast and Portland, and 30 miles from Salem.
Contest organizers selected McMinnville for it’s picturesque downtown which looks like a Hollywood movie set. Local residents call the main drag ”the living room of McMinnville.”
McMinnville's Main street beat Placerville, California; Georgetown, Texas; and Siloam Springs, Arkansas to make it to the finals.
Just in time for the contest and summer months, the McMinnville Downtown Association, in cooperation with the McMinnville Police Department and McMinnville Parks and Recreation, has contracted with the city for the services of the park rangers to patrol the downtown core now through September.
“We feel this is the perfect partnership with the city to ensure public safety downtown. The rangers will be ambassadors as well, assisting tourists and residents alike when asked for directions and other questions,” said MDA manager, Cassie Sollars.
“Our board felt strongly enough about this that they voted to take up to $10,000 from our reserves to pay for the program this year. If it’s the success we think it will be, we’ll work with the city to fund it jointly in future years,” Sollars said.
“Our police department has always been responsive to calls downtown, but this program adds an extra presence without adding too much to the city’s budget during this pilot year,” she said.
The rangers have gone through a training program with the police department and are trained to write citations for a limited number of city ordinance violations, as well as carry radios to call for officer assistance if needed.
Voting for the winning city ends Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be revealed in the August 17 issue of Parade.
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