Smithfield has a vibrant award-winning historic downtown. Several festivals and parades are held throughout the year in the downtown area. In 2002, Smithfield celebrated its 250th Anniversary. For more information about annual events and parades, please visit GenuineSmithfieldVirginia.com. We also take pride in our tourism industry. There are several antique shops and other unique specialty shops along Main Street.
The town recently completed a decade long $2 million public improvement project downtown. In April 1999, the Virginia Downtown Development Association (VDDA) awarded Smithfield for its Main Street Beautification Project. Main Street began declining in the late 1960's and the process was becoming more pronounced by the mid-1970's. The first effort to turn around Main Street was in the mid-1970's. However, that effort never came to fruition.
Main Street business and property owners, together with residents of the historic district continued their interest in a revitalization project, but with little direction until 1988. Mr. Joseph W. Luter, III, President of Smithfield Foods, Inc. then offered to make a challenge grant if an organization could be put together and plans made for a downtown project. Historic Downtown Smithfield, Inc. was created a short time later in January 1989 and that led to a financial commitment by a large percentage of Main Street businesses and property owners.
The Main Street project concluded in February 1999 with the completion of landscaping. Public improvements included relocation all overhead utilities underground, construction of brick sidewalks, installation of period street lights and street signage, landscaping, granite curbing, street re-surfacing, water and sewer line replacements, drainage enhancements, additional parking as well as informational kiosks on local history and street art sculptures. Private investment resulted in many significant building renovations, reconstruction and/or facade improvements. Below are just a few of the before/after pictures that epitomize downtown Smithfield.