Two La Crosse groups win Wisconsin Main Street Awards

Monet Floral and Artspire event

Local downtown revitalization projects were honored at the 26th annual Wisconsin Main Street Awards.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation awards community members working to revitalize their historic downtown areas, and La Crosse has two winners for 2016. The awards given out Friday night went to Monet Floral and the Artspire event.

Monet Floral received the award for Best Storefront Display throughout the year. Owners of Monet say many customers are already expecting big displays this year.

“Everybody said, ‘What are you going to do next year?’ They always say, ‘What are you going to do next year? What are you going to do next year?’ We say, ‘You’ll have to wait and see.’ And right now we don’t know what we’re going to do for 2017,” said Monet Floral Co-Owner Ben Skemp.

Artspire was one of two recipients in the state for the Best Special Event award. Artspire organizers say putting on a free event that includes multiple communities is a difficult thing, but the result is worth the effort.

“So it’s harder to put on, but it’s also more local and special and open to absolutely everyone, and to win that kind of award with a free event is a big deal and it says a lot about the people of La Crosse,” said Artspire Co-Chair Eva Marie Restel.

Since beginning in 1987, the Wisconsin Main Street project has led to more than $1.6 billion worth of investments into downtown communities.