Fourth of July Weekend Downtown

As always, beautiful historic downtown Springfield is the center of the action as we celebrate our nation’s birth and all of the freedoms we enjoy!

SATURDAY, JULY 1

Capital City Celebration by the Springfield Jaycees – Fireworks, a Kids Zone, Food, Music, and a Dog Beauty Pageant?! Get the details>
This event is funded and organized by volunteers and corporate sponsors. If you’d like to volunteer, please sign up here>

Downtown businesses are generally open from 10-5 pm on Saturdays, with bars and restaurants staying open late.

Street Closure Schedule for Capital City Celebration

Friday June 30 at 6 pm: Close Capitol between 4th and 5th street; Close 4th at Jackson north side of Jackson; Close 3rd street west of tracks south of Monroe; Close 3rd street east of tracks at Jackson
On Saturday, July 1: The SMTD transfer site will move to Jackson between 4th and 5th street south side and on 5th street between Jackson and Cook west side.

11am – 3 pm
The Illinois State Museum hosts Red, White & Blue Super Saturday. This free event allows kids can see art from the Museum’s collections, makecrafts, and play games all in red, white, and blue — plus have the opportunity to make an abstract art piece and learn about the history of the flag. Get the details>

TUESDAY, JULY 4

8:30-9:30 am
Although the Old State Capitol building will be closed for July 4, Ahh Yoga is celebrating the holiday with an all-levels class on the lawn. Get the details>

5-8 pm
The Elijah Iles House will host its annual “Clara Irwin’s Strawberry Party” on the lawn of the Iles House, 628 South Seventh Street. The public is invited to experience an old-fashioned Independence Day and purchase wonderful strawberry treats. Get the details>

If you have an Independence Day themed event happening downtown and want it added to the list, let us know!

Art Pop-Up Comes to Downtown Alley

Get ready to experience local art in the most unexpected venue. Downtown Springfield, Inc. (DSI) invites you to a one-night takeover and transformation of a boring downtown alley into a big city art club. The Art Alley Pop-Up takes place on Thursday, June 29 from 5-9 pm. Enjoy art, syncopated music and light show, an interactive mural, plus appetizers by Augie’s Front Burner and Floyd’s Thirst Parlor beverages!

Tickets are $15 at the door, which include admission and appetizers with proceeds benefiting downtown revitalization. All ages are encouraged and welcomed to attend. Our first ever alley party in the alley between the Reisch Building & the Old Town Mall between 4th & 5th Streets, just west of the Old State Capitol.

This event is made possible with partnership from Springfield Art Association and generous support from Neuhoff Media, Solomon Colors, AARP Illinois, Crawford Murphy and Tilly, Don Smith Paints and PPG Paints.

A music and light show will be produced in coordination by Neuhoff and Chicago light artist Brandon Mojica of ProSource. Art Alley will include a paint by colors mural for event goers to leave there own mark downtown. The south wall will feature 30+ local hanging art pieces with the north wall comprising of two larger scale murals by local artists Laura Zuniga and Immanuel Ahiable.

You can score free admission by serving as a volunteer for this event. Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

 

Laura Zuniga is ART BY ZUNIGA.  She is an emerging artist currently residing in Springfield, IL.  Zuniga attended Benedictine University in Springfield. She completed her Bachelor’s in Studio Arts at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.  Zuniga is a museum full of potential art projects that hopes will open people’s eyes.  She looks to bring many more creations that will tell stories and be appreciated by individuals who admire art just as much as she does.  Her mural Lion Chaser was inspired by Chase the Lion, a book about pursuing your dreams, given to her by a close friend who believes in her dreams as an artist.  The book is about going after your dreams.

”It inspired me and gave me the courage to pursue what God has placed in my heart,” Zuniga says. “Since I came to Springfield in the summer of ’08, it has always been a dream of mine to paint a mural downtown. The mural depicts this opportunity that I was blessed with and I hope that it will encourage other generations to do the same, to chase their lion.”

Immanuel Ahiable, a new exhibiting member at the SAA Collective gallery in Springfield, has incorporated visual art into his life. His mural, In Loving Memory, is inspired by the recent passing of his grandfather and his families roots in Ghana, West Africa. His passing brought new perspective to Ahiable’s life. The mural prominently featured the words of If a poem by Rudyard Kipling.

“Ever since the age of 4, and even before as a young boy who had just moved to the US, I always had a strong desire to create,” says Ahiable. “Visual arts always had a certain consistency in my life. It made sense to me that that this was my way of communication. I will use it to make the most beneficial impact on the world that I live in.”

Zuniga and Ahiables work has already in progress on the alley walls…So if you love art, murals, experiences, downtown or just want a big city feel for one night, drop in after work and kick-off the Fourth of July weekend in a new unique hip way!

Get event details here>

Lavender & Laine Vintage Market Comes to Washington St. this Saturday

Rebekah Lindvall and Family

Scouring flea markets for antiques has long been a favorite pastime for Springfieldians Chelsea Ewald and Rebekah Lindvall; however, it wasn’t until a year ago that the two realized they were constantly driving OUT of Springfield to attend such events. According to Lindvall, “Once we had that epiphany, it struck us that perhaps bringing a market to Springfield might be a worthwhile endeavor.” After mulling it over, Ewald and Lindvall decided to give it a shot and the Lavender & Laine Vintage Market was born.

Neither of the two organizers has a background in business and readily admit that they have been learning as they go. One of the first decisions they needed to make included selecting a location for their market. Ewald states that there was only ever one location they were truly interested in.

Chelsea Ewald and family.

“We knew immediately that downtown Springfield would be the most ideal place to host this event,” she says. She explains that the downtown vibe was exactly what they were looking for. “We love downtown Springfield and have long been patrons of its shops and restaurants. But its history is what really made us land on this area for our location.”

The market will be located right in front of the Old State Capitol Building on Washington Street. The two believe it will be the perfect place for their 30 vendors to sell antiques, vintage and handmade items. Should this year’s market thrive, they plan to make it an annual event.

The Lavender & Laine Vintage Market makes its downtown debut this Saturday, June 10 from 9am-4pm. Admission is $5 at the entrance (found at both 5th and 6th Street) and children under 12 are free. The Market will feature great shopping, live music, décor demonstrations, a photo booth, a kids craft area and more.

Learn more by going to the Lavender and Laine website or by visiting their Facebook page.

Lavender & Laine Vintage Market is a great addition to your downtown weekend! The Old Capitol Farmers Market takes place from 8 am – 12:30 pm, and there are Frank Lloyd Wright birthday commemoration concerts and more. Plus all of our special shops, restaurants and bars. Check out DSI’s events calendar for all of the details.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th – and his relationship to Downtown

Downtown Springfield is super lucky to be chock-full of history and significant historical buildings — including the Dana Thomas House at 4th and Cook.  It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, whom some consider America’s finest architect of all time. The Dana Thomas House Foundation and Springfield Historic Sites staff are giving you multiple opportunities to celebrate the great architect’s birthday this month (It is tomorrow, June 8!). Plus DSI is dedicating the most recent mural in our ARTification Public Art Project – which pays homage to Wright and his Dana Thomas designs in a big way, this month.

The Dana Thomas House is located at 301 E Lawrence Ave. Tours are available 9 AM – 4 PM, Wed-Sun, 10 AM – 2 PM Mondays and Tuesdays. All of these events listed above the ** line take place at the House.

Thursday, June 8 – THE BIG DAY
Enjoy refreshments in the Sumac Shop; Take a birthday photo with Frank Lloyd Wright; Now available, all new Wright in Springfield 2018 Calendar.

Friday, June 9, 10:15 AM and 1:15 PM Tour: Wright Concepts
All events are free however reservations are required and donations are suggested. Contact the House at 217-782-6776 for concert and tour reservations.

Saturday, June 10, 1:15 PM NEW Tour: The Restoration of the Dana-Thomas House
All events are free however reservations are required and donations are suggested. Contact the House at 217-782-6776 for concert and tour reservations.

Saturday, June 10, 6 PM Concert: Frank Lloyd Wright in Words and Music — Join acclaimed musicians David Cain and Larry Gray for an exploration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy through music and words.
All events are free however reservations are required and donations are suggested. Contact the House at 217-782-6776 for concert and tour reservations.

Saturday, June 24, 1:15 PM NEW Tour: The Restoration of the Dana-Thomas House
All events are free however reservations are required and donations are suggested. Contact the House at 217-782-6776 for concert and tour reservations.

Sunday June 25, 11:15 AM and 1:15 PM NEW Tour: Animals and Architects — Designed for families. Animals and Architects is a 30 minute tour that will begin with an activity in the courtyard and explore representations of animals inside the house.
All events are free however reservations are required and donations are suggested. Contact the House at 217-782-6776 for concert and tour reservations.

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Thursday, June 22 from 4-5 pm
Join DSI for the Public Dedication of the Frank Lloyd Wright window mural on the back of the building at 5th and Monroe. Say you’ll be there on Facebook>

“Prairie Sumac,” painted by Springfield artist Troy Freeman, is from a Frank Lloyd Wright window design that can be seen locally at the Dana-Thomas House. Thanks to the City of Springfield, sponsorship from AIA Illinois, building owner Curtis Tillett, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation for making this mural a reality.

The Man Behind the Mail

Everybody knows OJ, the mail carrier for the Old State Capitol Route! But how MUCH do you know about OJ?

Harry Crowder AKA “OJ” delivers mail and packages to many of us in the downtown area. But mail is not all he brings with him — we are also the daily recipients of his generous and warm spirit! No matter what kind of day one has, OJ’s standard good mood is sure to brighten it. With his big smile, warm heart, and listening ear he is always a joy to see.

OJ was born and raised in Chatham, and graduated from Chatham High School in 1990. He got his nickname from his Mom, who didn’t want to have him come running every time she yelled for his Dad, who he shares his first name with.

From Chatham, he went on to join the Air Force, where he worked as a Fuel Systems Specialist. When his Air Force base closed in 1992, he decided to join the postal service. That means that OJ has worked for USPS for 24 years. During that time, he has been gifted with three children; Jordan 23, Kaitlyn 20, and Braiden 14.

OJ also is the proud bearer of a bowling record that still stands six years later: 34 out of 36 strikes during a game at Laketown Lanes for a score of 886.

What does OJ like most about downtown Springfield? It’s definitely the festivals. One event, especially, holds a special place in his heart: Old Capitol Blues and BBQ (which DSI ran for many years). OJ was there at the very first Blues & BBQ Festival in 2004 to cook up some delicious barbeque. You can still find him at several downtown festivals, volunteering to serve you a cold one at the beer truck.

OJ also loves downtown during the Christmas holidays and is a fan of too many local eateries and bars to mention. “I’d like to see more growth in local tourism, and hope that word will continue to spread about all that downtown Springfield has to offer,” he says with a grin.

Farmers Market is HERE!

Wonder what’s fresh for the 2017 season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market? “Lettuce” tell you!

This market season–in addition to the fresh, local, in-season produce and value-added products you are used to–we’ll offer music, chef demos, family workouts, and more!

We’re so pleased that the great staff of Illinois Stewardship Alliance are once again managing the day-to-day operations of our Market, which was voted the #1 Reason to Come Downtown by Illinois Times readers last year. We’re also glad to welcome the Springfield Area Arts Council as a partner, who has lined up a whole season of Saturday music for you to shop by.

Join us Wednesday and Saturday mornings, from 8a – 12:30 pm, all spring and summer and fall, through Halloween at the Market on October 28.

ON SALE THIS WEEK
locally grown and delicious asparagus, cabbage, greens, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, sprouts, squash, strawberries and tomatoes picked at peak ripeness by our fantastic growers

WED. MAY 17 ACTIVITIES
Enjoy a t-shirt tote-making station, a “pop-up Library” courtesy of Lincoln Library, and a 7:30 am group bike ride from Washington Park to the Market as part of “Curb your Car” week.

SATURDAY CRISS-CROSS LAYOUT

Click the link to the right to download this map in a version you can actually read!

On Saturdays, the market goes all “cross-cross!” In addition to vendors on Adams Street from 3rd to 5th, our Market Advisory Committee suggested we ramp up the safety by closing the 4th Street “crossing” and host vendors on 4th Street as well, from the alley west of the USPS, to the alley west of Resource One. Patrons are invited to park for free again in the Resource One parking lot, entering using 3rd Street, on Saturdays only. The city parking garage at 4th and Washington will be open for $5 as well, accessible by Washington Street. Download the map>

SAT. MAY 20 ACTIVITIES

WNNS FM will be broadcasting live when the Market opens at 8 am.

At 9 am: You and the kids can participate in a free family workout hosted by the YMCA.
Or watch and learn how to prepare fresh whole food from Chef Higgins in the Hy-Vee Healthy Cooking Tent.

At 10:30 am, we’ll host our official ribbon cutting with Mayor Langfelder and the Iles Middle School marching band. Don’t forget to say hi to your favorite returning vendors and meet some new ones AND have a free piece of Opening Day Cake provided by Incredibly Delicious.

After the official ribbon cutting,  From 10-noon, Mike Anderson will be serenading shoppers.

NEW SERVICE – CHEF CREATED, MARKET INGREDIENT, MEAL KITS!
Do you love a meal kit delivery service, but wish you could support local farmers while you eat it?! Have your rhubarb cake and eat it too by trying out the Farmers Market version prepared by Chef Ryan Lewis. On Saturday, May 27, he will have a take and make meal option for sale featuring herb roasted chicken and asparagus and sorrel salad with raspberry and rhubarb vinaigrette. For veggie lovers, he will have cornmeal pancakes and fried egg sauteed asparagus and radish with lemon and chive.

See you at the market!

The Old Capitol Farmers Market is sponsored by HSHS St. John’s Hospital and managed by Illinois Stewardship Alliance on behalf of Downtown Springfield Inc. Springfield Area Arts Council is partnering this year to provide live music on Saturdays.

DSI Announces Details for Summer Festival July 14-15

VIP Tickets and Online Deals are Available Now>

Last year after Downtown Springfield Inc.’s successful-but-sizzling Bacon Throwdown festival, the organization polled restaurants to find out which ingredient or style of food they wanted to compete over in 2017. The resounding response was, ‘Let us do our own style and showcase our signature dishes.’ So this summer, DSI is moving its long-time food and music festival back to a “Taste” format.

However, downtown has added a lot of new, creative entrepreneurs to the scene since the last time DSI hosted the “Taste,” and going back to that same concept didn’t feel quite right to the committee.

“We’ve been actively looking to sprinkle the weird and wonderful in downtown,” said Lisa Clemmons Stott, DSI’s Executive Director. “We’ve also been on a mission to remind Springfield why it has always loved its downtown. One of our committee members remembered that Springfield’s own Vachel Lindsay had written one novel, a utopian story of Springfield set in 2018, and the idea flew from there.”

The Amaranth Apple is a mystical fruit in Lindsay’s 1920 novel, “The Golden Book of Springfield,” which grew from seeds planted by Johnny Appleseed in the deceased (or was he?) skull/body of the fictional founder of Springfield, Hunter Kelly. Lindsay’s future Springfield shows socially and religiously awakened residents who have transformed his hometown into a utopian paradise that could serve as a guide to all of America.

And “he who eats of the Amaranth Apple” is filled with love for the eternal beauty of Springfield.

ISRINGHAUSEN RETURNS AS PREMIER SPONSOR

Isringhausen Imports returns as premier sponsor of the summer festival. The money raised at the event funds DSI’s non-profit mission to champion and revitalize the downtown district. “We love downtown and we appreciate the work that DSI is doing to revitalize the neighborhood. We couldn’t be more pleased to support this festival which brings thousands of people to the district,” said Geoff Isringhausen, President and CEO.

Vachel Lindsay was born in a home at 5th and Edwards, which is still maintained by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as a historic site. Lindsay became famous in his day as a traveling bard whose dramatic delivery in public readings helped keep appreciation for poetry as a spoken art alive in the American Midwest. Today he is not only considered a precursor of modern spoken word and hip hop but also of film critique.

“We’re excited to partner with DSI to raise the profile of native son Vachel Lindsay, who impacted the world of art and culture significantly,” said Lisa Higgs, board president of the Vachel Lindsay Association. The Association is programming the new Lindsay Lounge and a second stage to feature the arts and culture of Springfield.

DSI is also seeking sponsors for a Whiskey Lounge and a Wine Lounge, in addition to Coors and craft beer products provided by Beverage Sponsor Chick Fritz Distributing. Contact us for the Festival Sponsor Deck.

Organizers expect at least 25 restaurants to take part this year, with a “hint” of the mystical fruit in each bite. The registration materials are going out soon.

MUSIC HEADLINER

This year’s Saturday music headliner is Matthew Sweet, whose 1991 album “Girlfriend” is heralded as one of the decade’s most critically acclaimed albums and is known for such hits as “Girlfriend,” “Ugly Truth,” “Sick of Myself,” and “Time Capsule.”

After spending the ’80s as a jangle pop guitarist with Oh-OK and Lloyd Cole, as well as a solo artist, Matthew Sweet emerged in 1991 as the leading figure of the American power pop revival. Like his British counterparts Teenage Fanclub, Sweet adhered to traditional song craft, yet subverted the form by adding noisy post-punk guitar and flourishes of country-rock, resulting in an amalgam of the Beatles, Big Star, R.E.M., and Neil Young. Recorded with guitarists Richard Lloyd and Robert Quine, Sweet’s third album, Girlfriend (1991), became a word-of-mouth critical and commercial hit over the course of 1992, with its title track reaching the Top Five on the Modern Rock charts. For the next five years, as alternative rock was the dominant commercial force in rock & roll, Sweet became a very popular concert attraction and solidified his reputation as the premiere alternative pop singer/songwriter. His next two records, Altered Beast (1993) and 100% Fun (1995) were both critically acclaimed and successful albums, reaching platinum status and making many year-end best-of lists.

Sweet recently completed his new album Forever Tomorrow, recorded at his new studio – Black Squirrel Submarine – in Omaha where he now lives. Matthew engineered, performed on guitars, keyboards, bass and god knows what else, sang lead and background vocals and mixed the recordings. The record was mastered for CD, vinyl and download at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London by Sean Magee, a long time veteran at the studio. Sean won a Grammy for his Beatles reissues, and has recently won accolades for his remastering of the John Lennon solo catalog reissues. The record will be released on June 16, 2017 on Sweet’s label – Honeycomb Hideout – with label support and distribution provided by Sony/ RED Distribution, LLC.

He also backed Mike Myers as Austin Powers (along with Susanna Hoffs) in the faux band Ming Tea in two Austin Powers movies. The Lincoln, Nebraska native also was hired as a consultant on the 2014 Tim Burton film “Big Eyes,” with many of the Margaret Keane paintings in the film coming from Sweet’s extensive collection.

FULL MUSIC LINEUP

Friday, July 14
Josh Reilly (Springfield native)
Amy Benton (Springfield)
Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts (Rockford)
Chuck Mead (Nashville)

Saturday, July 15
Bruiser Queen (St. Louis)
The Starter Jackets (Springfield)
Captain Ivory (Detroit)
The Handcuffs (Chicago)
Matthew Sweet (Omaha)
The Cold Stares (Nashville)

Pajama Brunch and Toy Drive This Sunday at Balen’s

7-year-old Lexi Sonneborn is on a mission to collect and donate 2,000 toys for kids at HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital. A Pajama Brunch and Toy Drive will be held on Sunday from 11:00am-2:00pm at Balen’s Bar and Grill (217 S 5th) with food, music, and fun for the whole family.

Lexi is no stranger to the hospital. She was born premature at only 27 weeks, and spent her first three months in St. John’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and subsequently, her next three Christmases in their Pediatric Care Unit. Her mom Beth is a communications professional and her dad Josh owns several downtown establishments.

Help Lexi keep her New Year’s resolution to give 2,000 toys to kids in the hospital!! Sunday’s event will include a special brunch menu, live entertainment by local musician Dave Littrel, a bloody mary bar, selfie booth, and plenty of chances to win fun prizes.

At 1:30 pm a pajama contest will take place with local celebrity judges awarding prizes for “Most Creative,” “Best Couple or Group,” and “Fan Favorite.” Celebrity judges include 5th Ward Alderman Andrew Proctor, Gina Gemberling (Director of Visit Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau), and Dave Newton (HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital Program Coordinator, formerly of WDBR-FM).

Free Press Coffee House’s pop-up cart will be on hand to keep guests caffeinated and the Itty Bitty Fashion Truck mobile boutique will be set up outside so guests can enjoy some retail therapy.

All toys and monetary donations will be donated to HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital.

UIS Downtown Nightlife Shuttle Starts

Tonight a new shuttle launches between the University of Illinois Springfield campus and downtown Springfield. It was an initiative of the UIS Student Government Association, which is partially funding the program. The program is also receiving financial support from downtown establishments The Remedy, The Alamo and The Gin Mill, with some financial and staff assistance from DSI.

“The Student Government Association at the University of Illinois-Springfield is dedicated to bringing students closer to the greater Springfield community. We have a large population of students on our campus who are unable to enjoy Downtown Springfield because they lack transportation. This latest initiative allows our students to not only get a taste of downtown Springfield but also serves as a way the University can form partnerships with local downtown businesses,” said Austin M. Mehmet, President of the UIS Student Government Association.

DSI has contracted with Gracious Cab to run four 16-person shuttles every Friday and Saturday night throughout the spring semester (except March 17-18, which is spring break).

The shuttle will pick up students for free with a valid ID from TRAC on the UIS campus and drop them off downtown. Pick up times at TRAC are 10 pm, 11 pm, midnight and 1 am.

The downtown drop-off and pick-up location is:

Remedy Nightclub at 5th and Adams: January 28 through February 26

The Alamo at 115 N 5th St: March 3 – April 1 (excluding March 17-18)

The Gin Mill at 235 S 5th St: April 7 – May 6

The last shuttle leaving downtown for campus is at 2 am.