LAHAINA - Mayor Alan Arakawa will unveil a bronze plaque designating Front Street as one of the 2011 "Great Streets in America" on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. on the Baldwin Home Museum lawn.
The public is invited to attend.
"Great Places in America" is the American Planning Association's (APA) flagship program that celebrates places of exemplary character, quality and planning.
According to the APA, great places are enjoyable, safe and desirable. They are places where people want to be - not only to visit, but to live and work every day.
Front Street is the first corridor in the State of Hawaii to receive this national honor.
Paul Luersen, APA Hawaii Chapter president, will speak about the national significance of the designation and why Front Street was chosen.
David Allaire, president of Lahaina Restoration Foundation, will elaborate on LRF's 50 years of preserving and interpreting the historical and cultural legacies of Lahaina.
The application and research for this national award was completed by Lahaina Restoration Foundation earlier this year.
APA singled out Front Street for its history, amenities, revitalization efforts and continuous use by multiple generations for a variety of purposes.
Through Great Places in America, APA recognizes unique and authentic characteristics found in three essential components of all communities: streets, neighborhoods and public spaces.
"Natural beauty, history and community pride have coalesced to create a place that is special, in different ways, to each individual who traverses Front Street's wide and unique sidewalks," said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer.
"Nearly five decades of preservation and revitalization efforts have uncovered and saved more than 1,300 years of culture and heritage. From its start as the home of Native Hawaiian royalty to its days as a whaling outpost and missionary stronghold, and later a plantation town, to its current status as a tourist attraction, Front Street has embraced its history while accommodating more contemporary uses."
A reception and refreshments on the Baldwin Home lawn at the corner of Front and Dickenson streets will follow the unveiling.
Free admission to the Baldwin Home Museum will be offered to all those attending the event.
Paid parking is available directly behind the museum with access from Dickenson Street.
For more information, call Lahaina Restoration Foundation at 661-3262.