The City of Ferris became a member of the Texas Historic Commission’s Main Street Program in 1997. The Main Street Advisory Board assists the Ferris Downtown Association, the local business organization, with its two recurring annual festivals in the historic downtown area: Christmas on the Square, and the spring-time Ferris Brick Festival, a celebration of the city’s past. With assistance from the Texas Historic Commission, the Main Street group has been instrumental in providing guidance concerning period architecture of the Downtown area.
With financial assistance from the 4B EDC board, the city offers a matching grant program for downtown facade improvements. The Design Guidelines committee (consisting of building owners and interested citizens) defined the physical requirements for grant qualification, such as canopy styles, paint colors and signage. The Economic Restucturing committee created the process for building owner application, approval, and disbursement of funds. There are two types of grants: Major Improvements, available to building owners with matching funds up to $5,000, and Minor Improvements, which offer business owners matching funds up to $250.
The Main Street Board, whose seven citizen members include five appointed by city council, is one of the most active boards. The board also includes two non-voting youth advisors (ages 15-18). For people interested in getting involved, there are many ways to utilize one's talents.