Downtown Swainsboro Earns Main Street Accreditation

The City of Swainsboro has been designated as a 2021 Accredited Main Street™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards. Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

“We are proud to recognize this year’s 889 nationally accredited Main Street programs that have worked tirelessly to advance economic vitality and quality of life in their downtowns and commercial districts,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of Main Street America. “During an incredibly challenging year, these programs demonstrated the power of the Main Street movement to drive impressive local recovery efforts, champion small businesses, and foster vibrant downtown districts. I am inspired by their hard work and confident that these accredited communities will continue to help their downtowns flourish in the next stages of recovery.”

Downtown Swainsboro’s performance is evaluated annually by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Office of Downtown Development, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

Swainsboro’s Main Street Program is managed by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), which has been a catalyst in the revitalization of downtown Swainsboro. As one of the five original Georgia Main Street Cities designated in the 1980s, Swainsboro reclaimed its accreditation as a state and national Main Street City in 2016 and has worked diligently in maintaining the distinction since.

“Despite the many challenges of 2020, we are fortunate that no downtown Swainsboro businesses closed. In fact, we welcomed three new businesses which created more than 16 new jobs and four properties were renovated during that time,” said Lynn Brinson, Director of Downtown Development.

Accreditation as a Main Street America City and Georgia Classic Main Street Program provides opportunities for technical assistance, training opportunities, and economic development programs, as well as access to unique funding programs. It also signifies the community’s commitment to revitalizing downtown, preserving its historic structures, and strengthening its economic base.

According to the National Main Street Program, “Main Street America is a special mark of distinction. It is a seal, recognizing that participating programs, organizations, and communities are part of a national movement with a proven track record for celebrating community character, preserving local history, and generating impressive economic returns.” Approximately 15 percent of Georgia cities have attained this honor.

“I have always felt that the real character of any city is truly reflected in the original downtown area. Lynn and the Downtown Development Authority members have done a tremendous job in keeping our downtown alive and vibrant. We are lucky to have them working for us all,” said Swainsboro Mayor Charles Schwabe.

Swainsboro’s Main Street Program is led by the City of Swainsboro’s Department of Downtown Development and the Downtown Development Authority of Swainsboro Board of Directors.  The 2021 DDA Board of Directors is composed of: Gary Mason, Board Chair; Margaret Anne Allmond; Stephanie Flanders; Anna Gambrell; Daisy Reeves; Jim Roberts; Mayor Charles Schwabe (ex-officio); Ken Warnock (ex-officio); and Michael Bright (ex-officio).  Lynn Brinson is the Director of Downtown Development.

To keep up with the latest news and announcements from downtown Swainsboro, follow along on Facebook @downtownswainsboro.

Fireworks To Be Held July 4th

The Swainsboro Jaycees will host its annual Independence Day fireworks show at the Swainsboro – Emanuel County Recreation Department’s Billy C. Carmichael Complex on Sunday, July 4th. The fireworks will begin at dark.

Police Department Holds Annual Treasure Hunt

The Swainsboro Police Department’s Annual Treasure Hunt is taking place now through the month of June. Each day, an SPD Officer hides a specially painted rock displaying his or her badge number. Clues to the rock’s location will be posted on the Swainsboro Police Department Facebook Page. Once the rock has been located, the finder may return it to the Police Department for a special prize. The treasure hunt is open to children ages 3 – 12. For more information, and for today’s clue, visit the SPD Facebook page.

Concert at The Boneyard June 25

Classic City Soul will take the stage at The Boneyard Pavilion at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 25th with a set list featuring your favorite classic Motown, Beach Music, Soul, and R&B songs. The free concert is hosted by the Downtown Development Authority. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets. Downtown restaurants will be open for dining before the show and offering take-out to enjoy during the concert.

Farmers Market to Begin June 12

Opening day for the Swainsboro Emanuel Farmers Market is scheduled for Saturday, June 12th. The market will be held every Saturday through October 23rd from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Farmers Market Shelter at The Boneyard in Downtown Swainsboro. For more information about the Swainsboro Emanuel Farmers Market or to become a vendor, visit the market’s Facebook page.

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Splash Pad to Open May 29

The Splash-N-Sports splash pad located at the Billy C. Carmichael Recreation Complex will open on Saturday, May 29th. The splash pad, which was designed with kids in mind, will operate from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. The cost is $2 per person. Season passes and private parties are available. For more information, visit the Swainsboro Emanuel County Parks & Recreation Facebook page or call the Recreation Department at 478-237-8098.

Pine Tree Festival Street Closures Announced

Street closures for the 2021 Pine Tree Festival have been announced. All closures will be in effect through May 8th at 5:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Please adhere to all closures and detour routes during the event.

Closing Friday, May 7th at 2:00 p.m.

South Green Street from West Main Street to West Moring Street.

Roger Shaw Street from South Main Street to Central Street

Closing Saturday, May 8th at 7:30 a.m.

East/West Main Street (Highway 80) from Coleman Street to Central Street

North/South Main Street (Highway 1) from Lambs Bridge Road to Church Street (The portion of South Main Street that stretches from Lambs Bridge Road to Moring Street will reopen after the parade.)

North Green Street from West Main Street to Pine Street

West Pine Street from North Main Street to Green Street.

Please note that all side streets that lead into the parade route will be closed prior to and during the parade.

Pine Tree Festival This Weekend

The 74.5 Pine Tree Festival is just around the corner. The weekend will begin with the Rhythm & Pines Music Festival, featuring the Swingin’ Medallions, Sam’s Drive-In Band, Rhett Blount & Friends, and The Gospel Stage – all taking place on Friday, May 7th.

The fun continues on Saturday, May 8th with the Opening Ceremonies kicking everything off at 10:00 a.m. in front of The Square. Afterward, eventgoers will enjoy the Grand Parade, Jurassic Kingdom Dinosaur Show, Flight Crew Jump Rope Team, Classic Car Show, Antique Tractor Show, chainsaw carving, arts, crafts, and food vendors, and more.

For more information, visit pinetreefestival.org.

Citywide Clean-Up To Be Held April 17th

The City of Swainsboro’s Stash the Trash Citywide Clean-Up Day will be held April 17th. Participants are asked to sign up in advance and select the area they wish to clean up. Teams and groups are encouraged, and prizes will be awarded. Participants may check-in at The Boneyard beginning at 8:00 a.m. Supplies such as gloves, trash bags, and safety vests will be provided. A wrap-up party will be held at The Boneyard at 12:00 Noon. For more information, including dumpster locations and sign-up information, click here.