Few natural resources have supported American communities like the Mississippi River. Spanning more than 2,000 miles, it’s the second-longest river in the United States and it touches a total of 10 states. In reality, the Mississippi River’s impact is more than geographical. The river launched dozens of communities and continues to provide a backdrop for many thriving Main Streets to this day. That’s why the Independent We Stand team will head to its banks on March 12 for the Great American Mississippi River Road Trip.
The annual Independent We Stand road trip celebrates Main Streets by highlighting the organizations and businesses that define them. The road trip complements the America’s Main Streets Contest, which gives Main Street organizations the chance to win $25,000 cash and a prize package designed to help local campaigns succeed. The America’s Main Streets Contest will accept nominations and quarterfinalist votes through April 22.
With the America’s Main Streets Contest, Independent We Stand celebrates Main Streets across the country. Meanwhile, the road trip is an opportunity to get up close and personal with the Main Streets of a particular region. Last year’s Great American Rocky Mountain Road Trip took the team to cities like Bozeman, Montana; Casper, Wyoming; Denver, Colorado; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
This year, the team will go with the flow of the Mississippi River, traveling from Minnesota to Louisiana. Over the course of five days, Independent We Stand will visit at least six cities along the river, learning what makes each community unique and what binds the Mississippi River region together. Along the way, the team will stay, play and eat locally, visiting many of the small businesses and Main Street organizations you’ve read about on the blog previously. Of course, you’ll hear more remarkable local stories when the team returns!