The City of Huntingburg hit a major milestone this week.
The Fourth Street Heritage Trail was officially dedicated during a special ceremony on Friday afternoon.
The celebration was originally scheduled to take place in April but was pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To celebrate the momentous occasion, local business owners, Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner, Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuiness, and representatives with the Stellar Communities Program gathered at Market Street Park for a ribbon cutting.
Lieutenant Governor Crouch says it took years of dedication and hard work to complete the project.
“Huntingburg was chosen as a Stellar Community and received that designation back in 2014. So this is the culmination of eight projects within that Stellar Plan and it has taken six years to actually complete,” she says.
Crouch says the outside of the buildings is not the only thing that makes Huntingburg a Stellar Community.
“So it’s not just about cosmetically making things look better. It’s about the infrastructure and how do we increase and strengthen the infrastructure of a community to really allow it to be everything that it can possibly be,” she says.
Although Fourth Street is buzzing with business now, it was not an easy road for merchants.
Mayor Denny Spinner says they were the backbone of the entire project.
“The merchants directly along the street took a risk to say: Yes, let’s rethink things, and let’s redo things. Let’s make Huntingburg a place for the future. Although there were some challenging times, they were with us all the way.” Spinner says.
Even during these hard times, the merchants stuck together. Spinner explains how.
“It was a daily event to see the merchants out handing out donuts, candy or coffee to the construction workers. And I think that the construction crew told me that was the only job they’ve ever worked on where they’ve gained weight. Because the merchants were so welcoming, it was a mutual experience So it was a very, very unique project,” Spinner says.
Spinner says this final dedication officially “closes the door” on the Stellar Plan.