SUMTER, S.C. — On Tuesday, the City of Sumter was given three awards for its work in the downtown area.
Main Street South Carolina, which represents cities across the state, presented the 2020-2021 awards to Sumter City Council.
The eSTEAM Festival, which attracts thousands, received the 2020 Excellence on Main Street Award.
Through special activities and exhibits, the festival works to highlight career paths in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) and expand the area's workforce.
The community also received a 2020 award for the revitalization of the Sumter Printing Company building.
According to organizers, the structure on North Main Street was built in 1929 and was abandoned for a decade or more.
The renovation led to two larger commercial spaces, which were leased to a law firm and architecture firm. The second floor now features four apartments.
The final award was for Outstanding Partnership in 2021 for the city's Butterfly Project - a series of professionally created fiberglass sculptures, painted by local artists and placed around downtown.
“The reason for all these things, for events, for apartments, for art is just to bring people downtown," Downtown Development Coordinator Leigh Newman said. "I have a lot of people asking me, why downtown development? What’s the point? We’re here to support our merchants first and foremost and we do that by holding events that bring people downtown and creating art that brings people downtown, and that’s kind of the key behind all of it.”
To see a full list of cities recognized, visit www.masc.sc