Florence’s Main Street showing new life

By Janet Perez | YourValley

Downtown Florence, especially Historic Main Street, is always a work in progress, evolving to adapt to changing tastes, economic conditions and new growth.

Candi Frizzell, who works as a visitor experience manager for the Pinal County Historical Society Museum, grew up in Florence during the 1960s and early 1970s when Main Street and downtown had a strong assortment of businesses.

“There was always something happening,” she said. “There was a lot of activity downtown and people supported the activities.”

Flash forward to the 1990s, and Main Street and downtown were still crackling with action. That was the downtown Florence Councilmember Nicole Buccellato grew up around.

“Main Street for me growing up was the place to be,” she said.

Buccellato fondly remembers a homemade ice cream shop called Jim Bob’s, a tortilla factory that “made the most amazing tortillas” and a general store that doubled as a café and souvenir shop.

There were also plenty of things for kids and teens on Main Street, such as Future Stars, which offered an arcade and batting cage combo, Buccellato said.

“We had a teen center where the town’s fitness center is located at now and it would be the place to often find your kids after school and at night, especially on the weekends,” she said. “The teen center often had theme nights such as movie night, game nights and dances.”


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