The colonial port town of Urbanna, located in Middlesex County at the confluence of Urbanna Creek and the Rappahannock River, evolved over a period of more than three centuries. It served as a tobacco port in the 18th century, and a mercantile and commercial fishing center in the 19th. By the 21st century the town became known for its oyster packing plants and as a charming, waterside destination. These two assets combined led to the beloved Urbanna Oyster Festival, celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2022.
Nowadays, the community is experiencing a growing interest among residents and visitors to expand experiential tourism along the historic waterfront. They want to see downtown’s storefronts occupied by retail, restaurants, and service businesses, becoming the vibrant center of community and commerce. Local leaders aim to help existing businesses, and the historic buildings they occupy, to remain viable. To do this, they want to chart a clear path that is community-driven and full of economic opportunity.
The Town of Urbanna was recently accepted into the Virginia Main Street (VMS) program as an Exploring Main Street community. Through this program tier, their grassroots leadership has the chance to attend a variety of trainings throughout the year, access downtown revitalization resources, consult with the VMS team regarding key issues, and benefit from being part of a larger Main Street network. Ultimately, Urbanna is positioned with a suite of tools to catalyze reinvestment, create jobs, and foster pride of place.
Welcome the Town of Urbanna to the Exploring Main Street Program!
Photo credit (Top): Town of Urbanna Facebook
Photo credit (Middle): Town of Urbanna Facebook
Photo credit (Bottom): Town of Urbanna