CRESTVIEW — The Main Street Crestview Association was one of 32 Florida Main Street programs to achieve national accreditation last week.

The accreditation is awarded by the National Main Street Center. The accreditation process is conducted each year based on a series of standards set by the National Main Street Center and its coordinating program partners. There are 10 standards a program needs to meet, which range from possessing a historic preservation ethic to having developed vision and mission statements relevant to community conditions and to the local Main Street program's organizational stage.

The designation is a mark of distinction that signifies a local Main Street program’s commitment to community revitalization and engagement and rigorous outcome measurement.

“We’re on the road to doing the things necessary for the revitalization of our downtown district,” said Main Street Crestview Association Board President, Paul Lowrey. “We’re working to make it a vibrant place for businesses to want to come back to.”

“We want to create jobs downtown for the community. That’s what it’s all about,” he added.

Lowrey said that people like the downtown district for many different reasons.

“Some people like the shopping experience, while some like the charm of downtown for events,” Lowrey said. “It’s a quality of life-type thing for the residents of Crestview.”

The accreditation is important for the future of the association and downtown Crestview. Lowrey believes it can push the association from a local program to a national program, which could help gain tourist attraction to downtown Crestview.

“It’s another feather in our cap,” said Lowrey. “When folks travel and see a national accredited main street, they may pull off and go see it.”

“It certainly has the opportunity to bring business to our downtown district that would otherwise bypass us,” he added.

Lowrey credits the success of the program to those who work hard behind the scenes, including director Sandra Wilson.

“We have folks who worked mighty hard to get to this point and we are just going to get better from here,” Lowrey said.

“We have a dedicated full-time director who will help us get to the next level,” he added. “I think you will see lots of good things from program.”

Main Street Milton also earned its accreditation.