“Communities can be shaped by choice, or they can be shaped by chance.
We can keep on accepting the kind of communities we get,
or we can start creating the kind of communities we want.”

Richard Moe, President
 National Trust for Historic Preservation

Welcome to Downtown sterling...

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 4 years, The Martin Building, located on the corner of 3rd Street and Locust (currently the home of The Rusty Fox Wine & Alehouse). This renovation project served as the catalyst for Sterling Main Street’s Façade Grant program, which has awarded over $150,000 in grants  since the program began in 2009, assisting property owners in the City’s Central Business District (“CBD”) to revitalize their storefronts.

Today, Sterling Main Street continues to work with Illinois Main Street as well as utilizing the National Main Street Center’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 Restructuring.

From downtown beautification projects; community activities & events; and support for the small, independent businesses that make up the core of our CBD and contribute to Sterling’s unique character; downtown Sterling is experiencing a great surge in momentum as it continues its journey to return to being the thriving heart of the community that makes Sterling, Illinois a great place to live, work and play.

Upcoming Events

Friday, November 6th
11 AM - 1 PM


DOwntown Christmas Walk

Saturday, November 21st
1:00 PM

Saturday, November 28th

Additional Sterling Main Street programs:

Open Year-Round
Saturday Mornings
8 AM - Noon

Celebrating 20 Years!


318 First Avenue
Downtown Sterling

Thursday • Friday • Saturday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
or by appointment


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Or click here for a comprehensive Community-wide Calendar.