This year’s Annual Dinner is actually the 25th celebration of the creation of DSI, the downtown business association that also is a nationally-accredited Main Street organization. Fittingly enough, we’re hosting it at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel a Doubletree by Hilton and the BOS Center on January 25, 2018. (25=25)
The first step in the nomination process comes from you. Log your suggestions using our online survey tool>
We’ll announce the winners at the Annual Dinner. Tickets will be available soon. This is one celebration you won’t want to miss! And it supports DSI’s work, so that’s a two-fer.
Starting Wednesday, five downtown Union Pacific Railroad crossings will be closed permanently: Union Street, Jackson Street, Canedy Street, Allen Street, and Cedar Street. These closures are the next step to acquire a “Quiet Zone” designation along the 3rd Street Corridor.
The five locations will have temporary barricades while Union Pacific completes work associated with the crossing closures and then the City of Springfield will have 60 days to install the permanent barricades.
Detours are marked to avoid the closed crossings. Alternative routes include the underpasses at Dodge Street and at Capitol Avenue along with the Stanford Avenue overpass.
Motorists who disregard the “Road Closed” and “Do Not Enter” signs are subject to a $250 fine.
Sangamon County hired The Development Consortium to analyze our area’s regional economic development efforts and the report was released last night. The consultants give DSI’s new direction a big thumbs up on Page 13.
Some downtown-centric highlights:
- DSI has been primarily operating in a vacuum, mostly not of its own creation. As a needed placemaking organization, it needs to be part of the overall regional economic development strategy and included as a partner.
- More than 300 current State of Illinois employees are enrolled in UIS programs, and other plans are under consideration of development in order to more fully integrate the campus into the fabric of the community. To the extent that UIS can expand its presence into the downtown areas of Springfield, prime opportunities for dynamic partnerships with business and government can more easily happen, with the additional economic impacts of having students learning, working and living in the City’s core. It would be a real game changer for the landscape and vitality of downtown Springfield.
- Placemaking and quality of life improvements needed to attract and retain younger workers and recent graduates, and, really, people in all stages of life, need to be planned for, funded and executed, especially in the downtown, as a long-term strategy with representatives from all facets of life represented in the discussion along the way. Support organizations such as Downtown Springfield, Inc. that are working on this. Quality of place is important to new and long-term residents and visitors alike.
On October 28, downtown is bursting with Halloween goodness, practically from dawn to dusk!
Springfield Vintage and #SpringfieldILrocks have teamed up for a massive downtown rock hunt! You can paint some rocks like artist Felicia Olin did (see left) and drop them off at Springfield Vintage before October 28 and they will be hidden around downtown — or you can simply be on the hunt that day for super cool, collectible rocks! Email Springfield Vintage for more information>
9:30 – Noon: Halloween at the Market
This festive event wraps up the 2017 market season. Local organizations and businesses combine efforts to create FREE, fun-filled activities for the whole family, including children and dog costume contests, hands-on activities (build your own spiderweb with the Kidzeum!), and special guests. Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in all four categories.
Noon to 4 pm: Halloween Family Carnival at the Hoogland
This family-friendly carnival has grown BIGGER this year and will feature carnival booths with prizes and candy, performances of your favorite Halloween songs by the Hoogland Kids, Teens and Juniors and everyone is dressed up in their most elaborate costumes! If you are feeling in a spooky mood, dare to venture through their haunted house! They also have a new haunted house for younger children where little ones can walk through Charlie Brown’s Pumpkin Patch. Parents can find a great place to relax and have a fall beverage while the children experience Minny Mouse’s Tea Party, Willy Gaston’s Dart Throw, and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
4:30 – 6:30 pm: Shop Spooky Specials
Downtown businesses are getting in on the Halloween fun, too! They’ll be staying open later on this particular Saturday with treats, fun and specials — and not many tricks:
Augie’s Front Burner – Stop by for candy!
Cold Stone Creamery – Stop by for candy!
Daisy Jane’s – Make and Take Halloween crafts!
Milk & Honey Fresh Market – Stop by for candy!
Murphy’s Loft – Stop by for candy, free Halloween koozies & 10% off!
Recycled Records – Stop by for candy & Used CD’s/DVD’s are buy 2 get 1 free!
The Roost – Dare for a spooky walk-through!
SAA Collective in the Hoogland – Free gift to costumed visitors (while supplies last)!
Springfield Vintage – They’ll pay your sales tax!
Studio on 6th – Stop by for candy; enjoy a free gift with purchase; and make your mark on the pumpkin!
Udder Hut – Special is Wormy Froyo! Plus… Fish for Apples
Urban Sassafras – crafts & cookies for kiddos!
Wild Rose – Free Face Painting and a tasty treat!
Wyndham Lobby – Stop by for candy and warm apple cider!
Z Bistro – Special dinner is Spaghetti Brains with Eyeballs! Plus… Fish for Apples
411 Bar & Grill – Stop by for candy!
4:30 – 6:30 pm: Annual Halloween Safety Event
Please join the Springfield Police and Fire Departments at Springfield Fire Station #1 at 825 E. Capitol Street
Learn great Safety tips for Halloween
Have a ghoulishly good time Trunk or Treating
Climb and explore rescue vehicles
Meet McGruff the Dog
Enjoy face painting and other children’s activities
Get .99 cent kids meal coupons from Sonic
Questions? Call 217-.788-8360 ext. 4238
5:30 – 7:30 pm: Trick or Treat at the Old State Capitol
The Illinois Executive Mansion Association can’t host the Governor’s popular event at the Mansion this year because of renovations, so they’re inviting Children Pre-K through 5th grade to this FREE event for Halloween treats at the Old State Capitol.
7 – 8 pm: Goosebumps Concert at First Presbyterian
The downtown church with the big red door is hosting their annual Goosebumps concert! Alongside the organ classics typically enjoyed during the Halloween season, the concert will also feature a variety of vocal pieces, dramatic reading, and interpretive performance art. You’re invited to dress for the concert — all in black, all in white, in costume — in order to participate more fully in the experience. The concert itself is free: the church will gladly accept donations to benefit hurricane relief.
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm: First Annual Halloween Parade to benefit The Parent Place
Families will line 5th and 6th Streets around the Old State Capitol as floats, children and other special Halloween guests parade the streets in this lighted evening parade! Contact 753-8730 to enter.
It’s the return of The Rocky Horror Show brought to you by ADHD Productions in association with the Hoogland Center for the Arts, and Club Station House. This weekend marks the eighth year of the the live production at the Hoogland!
This enchanting musical revue at the Legacy Theater brings the magic of Halloween to the stage, celebrating the holiday of imagination.
On the occasion of its 13th Anniversary, the show rematerializes with a cauldron full of new songs, as well as all the favorites audiences have come to love: “Old Black Magic,” “Stormy Weather” “Moondance” and “Monster Mash.” These songs, brewed together with puppetry, silliness and 50 pounds of candy, create a delightful treat for the whole family!
9 pm – ?: Zombie Walk
Redbird Electric is hosting a Zombie Walk. More details coming…..
And….don’t ever forget Lincoln’s Ghost Walk!
Check our calendar for other downtown Halloween events that don’t fall on October 28.
This week’s SJR story about the City’s interest in potentially moving Visit Springfield, our Convention & Visitors Bureau to a location around the Old State Capitol Plaza, got us thinking about what we’d experienced in other cities this summer. During Springfield’s tough budget times, if a better lease can’t be found, a compromise solution might be to host a visitors’ stand on the Old State Capitol next summer.
Here are what some other cities have done for highly trafficked areas:
September is one of the most abundant months of the year for Illinois farmers, featuring warm season crops like tomatoes and melons alongside cool weather crops like lettuce, apples, and winter squash.
However, the return of school session, cooling temperatures, and an increasing disconnect between shoppers and seasonality have all led to a drop off in farmers market attendance during this month. The resulting decline in sales increases food waste and weakens the economic viability of small farms before entering their slower winter months.
“There is such a wide variety of products this time of year,” says Molly Gleason of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (ISA has managed the Market on behalf of DSI for the past two years), “and because the harvest is so plentiful in September, it’s also one of the most affordable times to shop locally. Plus there’s all kinds of varieties and flavors that you won’t find in the grocery store, like baby fairytale eggplants and green striped zebra tomatoes. It’s really one of the best months to shop at your farmers market.”
The Eat Local Challenge, organized by ISA in partnership with farmers markets across central Illinois, aims to combat the annual slump in sales that farmers experience during the month of September by encouraging shoppers to pledge to buy locally.
All you have to do to participate in the Eat Local Challenge campaign is to pledge to spend $20 each week on locally grown food. Last year, the first year of the campaign, over 250 people took the Challenge across Central Illinois. This year ISA hopes to have 500 participants, which would mean at least $40,000 in sales of locally-grown food for the Central Illinois region.
Did you realize: if even half of the shoppers just at our Market participated, we would have over 2000 participants this year??
Registration for the Eat Local Challenge will open THIS SATURDAY during National Farmers Market Week. You can register in person by visiting the Market Booth at 4th and Adams or any Central Illinois residents can sign up online at www.buyfreshbuylocalcentralillinois.org.
The first 250 participants will receive a free, USA made, farmers market tote bag filled with more information on shopping locally—available at the Market in September. Additionally, all Challenge participants will be subscribed to a weekly e-newsletter featuring seasonal recipes, farmers market meal plans, storage and food preservation tips, and updates on local food events going on throughout the region.
“September isn’t the winding down of the farm, it’s the full throttle peak season for us. We have tended our land and crops for six months getting to our grand finale and it’s disappointing when we have no one show up for our end of the year extravaganza,” says Jacque Suttill-Simpson of Suttill’s Gardens, a long-time Market vendor. “We farmers experience the ‘slump’ right when our best is yet to come.”
In addition to our Old Capitol Farmers Market, other participating markets include ones in Downtown Bloomington, Downs Village, Urbana, Champaign, the Peoria Riverfront, and Streator.
In addition to taking the Eat Local Challenge, how else can you support the Old Capitol Farmers Market and the farmers who sell their goods every week?
Thursday, September 7: Downtown Springfield Inc. Friends of the Market Street Dinner
Thursday, September 14: Slow Food Springfield Tour of Petersburg Poultry Processing
Thursday, September 21: Local Flavors Dinner at Engrained Brewing Company
Sunday, September 24: Illinois Stewardship Alliance Annual Harvest Celebration
Downtown Springfield Inc. and President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel proudly invite local fashionistas of all ages and styles to a one-stop trunk show and runway experience featuring trendy fashions from downtown shops, timed perfectly for fall shopping sprees. Trendy, classic, casual, eclectic — you can find it all. Women’s, men’s, kid’s — in the last few years, our stores have dialed up their fashion options for you and the price points are divine.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
5-6 pm Red Carpet (for you!), Trunk Show, Cocktails
6-8 pm Runway Show & Silent Auction
Tickets are now available at the door for $35.
“We’re expecting to surprise a few people who haven’t shopped downtown for a while,” said Lisa Clemmons Stott, DSI Executive Director. “The downtown merchants are really excited to show their new lines of clothing and they’ve had a great time working together to make the night a memorable one.”
In 2012, the CLUE Group did a market study of downtown Springfield for us and reported that we had a serious lack of women’s fashion choices. Our entrepreneurs responded to the demand, and today you can see many trendy ensembles in the store windows downtown. Plus you get the curation and customer service that only a downtown shop can provide. That’s why we’re hosting a fun night of downtown fashion to highlight what you may not even realize is available in the district. Say you’ll be there on Facebook>
Tickets are $30 online and $35 at the door with proceeds benefiting DSI in their work to revitalize downtown and Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault, a downtown non-profit working to heal the trauma of sexual assault. This is the first year that PCASA has teamed up with DSI on the Dare to be Different Fashion Show. The ticket price includes admissions and appetizers. A frozen cocktail bar (with options for non-alcoholic versions) and other items will be available for purchase. Our guide for the night is Troy Armstrong, chosen by SJR Readers in both 2016 and 2017 as Best DJ.
In addition to the Trunk Show & Silent Auction, more than 70 looks will be curated for the runway by these 13 downtown area businesses featuring Springfield models of all ages, shapes and sizes:
|Fashion Looks Provided By:|
|Iris & Ivy|
|Itty Bitty Fashion Truck|
|Jim Herron Ltd.|
|Studio on Sixth|
|Sumac Shop at Dana Thomas House|
|What the Shirt|
The Mayor assembled a committee to review the responses to an RFP to redevelop the block north of the Governor’s Mansion which, until recently, hosted the old YWCA building and served as a large parking lot.
The committee is likely to finish their deliberations within the next two months. Considering that some type of city investment (likely using Central Area TIF dollars) will be required to make a project a reality, the next procedural steps would be for the proposal to go before the Economic Development Commission, and then, the City Council.
The DSI Board hosted the groups for short presentations in May.
John Shafer Architects envisions a residential complex with first-floor retail on the north side, with park features on the south
EMS Midwest envisions a downtown college campus, a movie theatre with rooftop dining and several apartments on the north side, with park features on the south
North Mansion Y Block Development Inc. envisions a public park for all 2.3 acres
Generally, DSI is considering these questions when making an assessment of the strongest proposal:
- How does the project accelerate the growth of downtown becoming a residential neighborhood?
- How does the project complement the existing business fabric?
- How sustainable is the financial model for the project?
To date, there has been no avenue for general public input. Let DSI know your thoughts on the Y Block proposals>