Business owners, volunteers and residents of Denison gathered Tuesday night to recognize efforts and accomplishments over the past year with Denison Main Street’s Downtown Denison Awards. The annual event recognizes the efforts of those who look to improve and reinvigorate the city’s core.

“Some of our accomplishments this year include building rehabilitation, new signage for businesses and new businesses and events,” Main Street Director Donna Dow said. “We think it is important to recognize these accomplishments because of all the hard work people put into revitalizing our downtown.”

In total, about 40 people attended Tuesday’s festivities, which were held in the downtown food truck part — one of downtown Denison’s latest additions in the past year. Dow said she has helped organize the awards each May since she joined the city in 2010, but she believes the awards may date back even further.

Dow said there were no new categories this year, but some took a different angle than previous years. For the annual Media Award, Main Street recognized a social media campaign that looked to highlight the various restaurant offerings that Denison, and specifically downtown, have to offer.

Following a recommendation by Denison Development Vice President William Myers, Dow said crews toured area restaurants in order to shoot a short commercial that was later put online to help boost and promote area dining options.

Meanwhile, Main Street recognized new business Desk and Easel, who opened this January, with awards for best interior and exterior renovations and restorations. Wendy Acosta, who accepted the award for herself and her husband, was stopped halfway back to her seat after receiving her first award after hearing her name called for a second.

Acosta said she was more surprised by the exterior award.

“I think I was more surprised because most of my attention was put into the inside and I had the clearest vision of what I wanted it to be,” she said. “The outside almost took care of itself.”

The night’s biggest award, Downtowner of the Year, was presented to Derrick Roberts with Pop Around the Corner. Dow attributed the award to the business’s efforts in promoting area businesses and local events, among other reasons.

For his part, Roberts said he was caught off guard by the award as he only expected to be presenting one and recognizing members of Downtown Denison Inc.

“We have a great community and all the business owners work to strengthen each other up,” he said.