'We really believe in our downtown and it's not just us merchants here who believe in it our entire community believes in our downtown,' says Mayor Sandy Lucy. 'We also respect our roots.'
Those roots run deep in this old German river town.
Now it's being recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
'How we ended up the winner of the national contest is we put in the application and we won,' says a smiling Lucy.
Washington is one of five winners nationwide that 'Embrace historic preservation and builds strategic partnerships in the community.'
'A downtown is the root of the community,' says Lucy.
Today on our visit it was a nice quiet day in downtown.
'What do you love about Washington, Missouri?' asks Patrick Clark.
'Well I love the honesty of the people,' says Washingtonian Allen Whitworth. 'That is the big thing.'
'How would you describe Washington in three words?' asks Clark.
'Clean and honest,' says Donald Reinwald, a barber with more than 40 years experience.
'In three words describe Washington, Missouri,' says Clark
'Oh my gosh, says Whitworth. 'Wonderful. Washington. Missouri.'
As a Great American Main Street Award Winner, Washington was noted for it's organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring.
Not bad for the town of less than 15,000 people. So what perks come with the plaque for being a pretty cool city?
'Certainly I would like to say that comes with lots of money but that's not case,' laughs Lucy. 'It comes with recognition.'
That's all you need, especially when you're trying to get others to put down some roots, in a great American city
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