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Find it all in Downtown Sterling

Looking for a great place to eat? A little nightlife? Some retail therapy? You’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Downtown Sterling, Illinois.

Grab a latte at Air Play Espresso & Bakery, catch a movie at the Sterling Theater, get pampered at Merle Norman, or just enjoy the history of the architecture and the stories behind the murals throughout the downtown. There is something for everyone. Explore! Enjoy!

Originally organized in 1999, Sterling Main Street became the dream of a dedicated small group of Sterling, Illinois business owners and community leaders. Working for many years to bring the Main Street® Program to Sterling, their hard work and vision was finally rewarded when they received official accreditation from the Illinois Main Street Program in March of 2009.

That same year, Sterling Main Street relocated its office to its renovation project of four years, The Martin Building, located on the corner of Third Street and Locust, which has now become the home of The Rusty Fox Wine & Alehouse. This renovation project served as the catalyst for our Façade Grant program, which has awarded nearly $400,000 in grants since the program began in 2009, assisting property owners in the City’s Downtown District to revitalize their storefronts.

Today, Sterling Main Street continues to utilize Main Street America’s Four-Point Approach to downtown revitalization. This approach is based on a comprehensive strategy, tailored to local needs and opportunities in four broad areas:

Design, Organization, Promotion and Economic Vitality

With beautification projects; great community events; and support for the small, independent businesses that make up the core of our downtown and contribute to Sterling’s unique character, Sterling Main Street is creating a vibrant downtown experience for all to enjoy.

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