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2023 Governor's Main Street Awards

Nominations for the 2023 Governor’s Main Street Awards is now closed!

These awards celebrate communities and organizations in North Dakota that exemplify the principles of the Main Street Initiative (MSI) by enhancing the quality of life for residents.  

The Main Street Initiative (MSI) Vibrancy Grant Program, a proud supporter of these awards, will grant winners a $500 reimbursable vibrancy grant to fuel local projects that inspire community vibrancy. 

2023 MSI Award Categories  

Main Street Excellence Award: Two awards (one rural, one urban) are given to recognize communities OR “Community Champions” within that community whose efforts embody all four pillars of the Main Street Initiative: Smart, Efficient Infrastructure; 21st Century Workforce; Economic Diversification, and Healthy, Vibrant Communities.    

21st Century Workforce Award: Two awards for community or business (one rural, one urban) are given in this category to recognize excellence in workforce. This includes demonstrating workforce attraction and retention through the implementation of a strategy that encourages people to move to and stay in your community OR through efforts to engage students in leadership development or workforce exploration.   

Healthy, Vibrant Community Award: This award recognizes a community or group that have made investments in projects that enhance the health and vibrancy of communities. This award emphasizes efforts to engage and empower people of all ages and abilities, helping North Dakota improve its health, economy, and connectivity. 

Smart, Efficient Infrastructure Award: This award recognizes a community that has made sound planning decisions by investing in spaces with existing or has effectively engaged the community in developing plans to do so. Nominated projects should infuse existing infrastructure with new and innovative ideas to ensure efficient use of public resources.   

Economic Diversification Award: This award recognizes a community or organization that have contributed to community resiliency by finding its unique strength, community asset or niche while using it to attract business, workforce, visitors or enhance resident’s quality of life. Nominated responses should acknowledge innovative ways the community used to strengthen connections, diversify local businesses, or build local morale. 

Future Leaders Empowerment Award: This award recognizes a community or a person that seeks to engage students in creating a healthy, vibrant community through leadership development, community planning or workforce exploration in community industries. This award is eligible for all ages and youth leaders are encouraged to apply or be recognized.  

Contact Maria Effertz at with any questions!

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2022 Award Winners:

Healthy, Vibrant Community Award

21st Century Workforce Award

Main Street Excellence Award

Smart, Efficient Infrastructure Award

Economic Diversification

Future Leaders Empowerment Award

2021 Award Winners:

Healthy, Vibrant Community Award

21st Century Workforce Award

Main Street Excellence Award

Smart, Efficient Infrastructure Award

ND Legendary Heritage Award

2020 Award Winners:

21st Century Workforce Award

  • Makewell Skills Camp
  • Rugby Student Loan Repayment Program

Arts and Culture Award 

  • Willison Electric Boxes
  • New Rockford Summer Street Market

Innovations in Community Resiliency Award

  • Cavalier Stimulus

Legendary Heritage Award

  • Maddock Opera House

Main Street Excellence Award

  • Devils Lake (Urban)
  • Forman (Rural)

Smart, Efficient Infrastructure Award

  • Milnor Grocery Store


2019 Award Winners:

Arts and Culture Award - Jamestown

Differentiator Award: Fargo

Future Leaders Empowerment Award: Beach

Legendary Heritage Award: Mandan

Legendary Young Leader – Sandra Larson from Sheyenne and Baleigh Ripplinger from McClusky

Livability for All Ages Award: BPRD and Main Street GF: Longest Table

Main Street Excellence Award: West Fargo and Milnor

Revitalizer Award: Cavalier

Vibrancy Award: Hettinger




2018 Award Winners:

Legendary Heritage Award: Fargo

Revitalizer Award: Belfield

Vibrancy Award: Watford City

Mobilizer Award: Jamestown

Differentiator Award: Binford

Future Leaders Empowerment Award: Rugby

Main Street Excellence Award: Grand Forks, Stanley, Garrison and Tuttle