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Why Main Street?

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

Reactions to the mention of Main Street Vineland or the Main Street program often include “Why do you say ‘Main Street’”? “Isn’t it ‘Landis Avenue’”? “Oh, you must mean ‘Main Road,’ because we don’t have a ‘Main Street’ in Vineland.” Let’s clear up the confusion.

When we say “Main Street” we’re not referring to a particular street name. We’re referring to a nationwide program of Main Street districts established in 1980 by the National Main Street Center in Chicago. State Main Street programs exist and, within those, Main Street districts in certified cities and towns. In the National Main Street Center’s words:

“The National Main Street Center is a national leader in economic development and community revitalization in older and historic commercial districts. We help build more sustainable and equitable communities by lifting up the people and places that make Main Streets thrive.”

In other words, it’s a program to help main streets—downtowns—in cities and towns across the country thrive and maintain themselves. Vineland’s Main Street district was certified in 2005 and combined with the already-existing Vineland Downtown Improvement District to become Vineland Downtown Improvement District/Main Street Vineland. In Cumberland County, Bridgeton and Millville are also established Main Street districts. Our Main Street district encompasses Landis Avenue—what we call “The Ave,” from Delsea Drive to Myrtle Street.

It’s an honor and a privilege to be a Main Street district and something not to be taken lightly. All of my work, that of our staff and workers, that of our four teams, and that of our many volunteers goes into making our Main Street district the best it can be and, as a result, making The Ave the best it can be. You can be part of this. We have our Promotions Team meeting this Thursday, July 15, and our Economic Vitality Team meeting the following Thursday, July 22, at 12 p.m., at the Main Street Vineland office, 603 E. Landis Avenue. If you cannot attend in person, contact our office at 856-794-8653 and we’ll send you a Zoom link.


Remember Christmas in July on The Ave, is scheduled for Saturday, July 24, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This will be the prelude to An Olde Fashioned Christmas on The Ave, to take place downtown December 3 through 5. The holiday music, food, and other Yuletide festivities will serve up some preliminary Christmas cheer to enjoy this summer.


Don’t forget about the call-out for prospective entertainers for our third Food Truck Festival on The Ave, coming up on Sunday, August 22, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Landis Avenue and the Boulevard. If you’ve got the talent we’re looking for, or know someone who has, contact Main Street Vineland Associate Director Robert Scarpa at Even better, send an audio or video clip—YouTube or some other platform. Members 1st of NJ Federal Credit Union is the major sponsor and Newfield National Bank is Entertainment Sponsor.

On the Ave