Excellence on Main

Celebrating exceptional entrepreneurs, organizers, and preservationists in Washington State!


It has been our immense honor to recognize over 100 people, places, and projects through the Excellence on Main Awards, which have been taking place annually since 2011. In acknowledgement of how exceptional stories have the power to inspire and drive change, we developed an Excellence on Main Archive – a place to continue to celebrate and learn from past award winners:

Explore the archive


The Excellence On Main Awards Celebration takes place in conjunction with the annual PLACES Conference. Tickets are $30 and include heavy hors d’oeurves. Please purchase your Excellence on Main ticket through the conference registration site (found under “Tickets & Add-Ons”).

Thursday, October 17, 2024 | 6:00 p.m.

Walla Walla, WA

(Registration will open in May)


DEADLINE: June 26, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.


The Excellence On Main Awards are open to Washington Main Street network members, including Main Street Communities and Affiliates.


If applicable, projects must have been completed between June 2022 and June 2024.


For detailed descriptions of each category, please visit our award categories page.

  • Brick & Mortar Rehabilitation
  • Places for People
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Legacy on Main
  • Purposeful Promotion
  • Outstanding Special Project
  • Organizational Excellence
  • Leadership on Main Award
  • Standout Volunteer (non-competitive)


  • Nominations will be made using an online form (link below).
  • You may begin a nomination form and come back to it later, using the “save and continue later” function.
  • High resolution images are required for all submissions. Please limit the number of images to ten (10) and submit them digitally with brief corresponding descriptions and photo credits. Please feel free to include images of pamphlets, promotional materials, or newspaper articles if appropriate.

QUESTIONS? Contact Breanne Durham via email or phone at 206-624-9449.

Submit a nomination



The jury will consist of a panel of community development, economic vitality, and historic preservation professionals actively engaged in the field. The following criteria will be used in ranking the nominations (where applicable):

  • Impact on the downtown/neighborhood district or organization
  • Effectiveness and Sustainability—will the project have long-term effects?
  • Extent to which the project capitalizes on the unique assets of the local community
  • Local Involvement—the extent to which groups, organizations, and individuals worked together to achieve the successful outcome
  • Innovation—creative and unique way to address the needs of the district or organization


Will be announced October 17, 2024 at the Excellence on Main Awards Celebration held during the PLACES Conference in Walla Walla.

Please note: Due to time constraints, award winners will not be asked to speak at the ceremony. Winners will have the opportunity to submit a statement of thanks (150 word maximum) that will be featured on the Trust’s website. Award winners will also be recognized in the This Place magazine and on social media.


  • Digital images submitted with your entries become the property of the Washington State Main Street Program and may be used for future presentations and publications.
  • A video clip of up to 3 minutes in length may be submitted in addition to the required materials when it is necessary to show the full scope (or ambiance) of the project. Videos submitted with your entries become the property of the Washington State Main Street Program and may be used for future presentations.
  • Each project or activity may only be nominated in one category.
  • Projects or activities receiving awards in previous years are not eligible unless there have been substantial changes or additions made during the nomination time frame.
  • Entries and supporting materials will not be returned.
  • The jury reserves the right to eliminate categories if a reasonable number of worthy nominations have not been submitted in a given category.
  • The jury also reserves the right to reassign nominations to alternate categories if appropriate.
  • For purposes of this award, “downtown” is defined as the traditional, compact, pedestrian-oriented central commercial district of a community. Neighborhood commercial districts are also eligible to apply.