Charming little former railway hub of Sykesville, Maryland wins national “America’s Main Streets” contest as best downtown

A charming former railroad hub along the Patapsco River, Sykesville, Maryland is part of the Maryland Main Street Program. Sykesville is home to a vibrant community of 4400 residents, a thriving downtown, and numerous attractions.

A state and nationally designated Main Street Community, the Town has plenty to offer its residents, business owners, and visitors. The history of the town remains a centerpiece today as the downtown as been meticulously preserved and renovated to maintain Sykesville’s quaint small-town charm.

Railway travel was a significant factor in creating and securing the foundation of Sykesville proper. Today, this history is honored through attractions like the S&P Railway model train displays and the Little Sykes Railway Park.

Photo courtesy of Sykesville Main Street.

Strategically mixed into the historical heritage landscape of Sykesville, art pieces, creative urban transformations and other placemaking initiatives jolt the surprise and excitement of our visitors.

This delightful little Town is also home to over 30 unique and eclectic businesses; many of whom have received awards for their originality and success. Visitors discover local creations and tasty vintages at the Art & Wine Festival, enjoy a wide array of famous microbrews at the Sykesville Craft Beer Festival, and wave flags on the path of marching bands and floats during Sykesville’s Let Freedom Ring Parade.

With seven major events a year, two community gardens, tons of parks and five very active, community-oriented committees, it’s little wonder that Sykesville was named the Coolest Small Town in America in 2016.

In June of 2020, Independent We Stand recognized Sykesville Main Street as the $25,000 winner of the 2020 “America’s Main Streets” contest. A record-setting 1.5 million total votes were cast by the public nationwide in the fifth annual contest.

Winning this contest is about more than just adding another accolade to our already wonderful list of accomplishments as a Main Street program. It allows us to provide even more support to our local business community in a time of dire need,” explained Julie Della-Maria, executive director of Downtown Sykesville Connection.

Along with an existing microgrant program with the Town of Sykesville, we plan to use our cash prize to help our members get through the coronavirus crisis,” she added.

The COVID-19 pandemic drove voters to support small businesses that would benefit from winning the contest. Sykesville garnered unprecedented votes and its nonprofit Downtown Sykesville Connection (DSC) now plans to dedicate prize winnings to the DSC’s nonprofit activities and programs for the
sustainability of its 44 downtown small businesses.

Featured photo by Jamie Alvarenga / Only In Your State.

Learn more about Independent We Stand Main Street Contest website.

See Sykesville Main Street website.

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