Mark Kessler, of Recycled Records Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

On, January 23rd, Downtown Springfield, Inc hosted their 26th Annual Awards Dinner highlighting the people and places that make downtown the hub for culture in Springfield. One very special award went to Mark Kessler, of Recycled Records for his tireless work in our community. Here is the speech the Past DSI Director, Victoria Ringer gave while announcing her dear friend as the recipient of the Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award:

I am Honored to be presenting the Wally Henderson LifeTime Achievement Award
this evening. Wally and his wife Brynn came to mean a lot to me and my husband
Doug. Our recipient and his wife have also be like Wally, this man has made his
mark on downtown by saying exactly what he thinks, working harder than the
average guy, giving back to his community and pulling no punches. 

In fact, as did Wally, our recipient would often call the DSI office and give his
opinion, often with volume and passion, on an issue affecting downtown. He would
always end the conversation with “you know I love ya, right”. Yep, I did.
When it comes to historical knowledge, business savvy, and the ability to
communicate I always knew where to send the media when they were looking for a
good interview or story. Running a family business that has been in the same
location for over 100 years takes stamina, the ability to acclimate to good and bad
economic situations, and character.

What once began as a downtown furniture store has evolved into a national
destination for collectors, famous musicians and people wanting to have a real
experience when shopping for jewelry, vintage items and, of course, music. You will
find an experienced staff, unusual displays and one constant overseeing the entire
menagerie.

Not unlike a fine vinyl record, this man has unique grooves, a crisp voice and the
ability to make a difference in the way you feel just by having a listen.
It is my great pleasure to present the Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award
to Mark Kessler, of Recycled Records.

 

Other winners of the night included:

Best Retail: The Roost

Best Restaurant: VELE

Best Not for Profit Initiative:  Lincoln Library and Director Will O’Hearn

2018 Most Impactful Public-Private Partnership: Kidzeum of Health and Science and the City of Springfield

Green Leadership: Kevin Greene

Best Renovation: St. George Apartments – Josh Wagoner

Best Creative Promotion: Hashtag Adams Family developed by Mark Forinash, Cafe Moxo

Best 2018 Event: Old Capitol Blues and BBQ Festival

Best Nightlife: Buzz Bomb Brewery

Bicentennial Award: Illinois Governor Mansions Association & Illinois REALTORS

Downtown Advocate of the Year: Linda Renehan

Volunteer of the Year: Brenda Stroh

 

To read more about the Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award, see the article posted in the SJ-R

Congrats to Our “Best Of” 2018 Nominees

Our 2017 Best Restaurant, Long Nine Junction, has a big 2019 in store — with their first child on the way in March, and the recent announcement of their Top 20 ranking among all restaurants in the US by Yelp.

Each year, Downtown Springfield Inc., the downtown business association and neighborhood revitalization champion comes together as a community for the organization’s Annual Dinner, which takes place on Wed., January 23, 2019 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel a Doubletree by Hilton. Thanks to the Doubletree and our Co-Host sponsors, AT&T and Watts Copy Systems.

Although tickets are no longer available, fans of downtown can still support DSI’s revitalization work by bidding on our Silent Auction, which is available online. You’ll get minute-by-minute updates on the status of the items you want to bid on by going to https://dsiawards.givesmart.com. Thanks to the Illinois REALTORS for sponsoring our Silent Auction system this year!

The highlight of the Dinner is the Annual “Best Of” Awards presented to the people and businesses who were the most buzzworthy in the prior year. The public nominated every category, and then the nominations were all vetted by a DSI committee consisting of current members and Past Presidents of the organization.

DSI does not release names of nominees of the Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award, the DSI Volunteer of the Year Award, or the Downtown Advocate Award. This year, DSI will present a special Bicentennial Award as well.

DSI is proud to announce the following 2018 nominees:

Best Retail
The Roost
Studio on 6th
Wild Rose

Best Restaurant
VELE
Maldaner’s
Long Nine Junction

Best Night Life
Buzz Bomb Brewery
Floyd’s Thirst Parlor
Hoogland Center for the Arts

Best Event
Old Capitol Blues & BBQ
Springfield Jaycees Xmas Parade
Legacy of Giving Music Festival

Best Creative Promotion
#AdamsFamily by Mark Forinash, Cafe Moxo
Dumb Records’ Record of the Night/Moving
Obed & Isaac’s Bus Wine Tour

Green Leadership
Maldaner’s/Michael Higgins
Kevin Greene, Springfield Bicycle Advisory Council
Wind Solar USA

Best Overall Renovation
St. George Apartments – Josh Wagoner
Anvil & Forge
Willow & Birch

Impactful Public/Private Partnership
Innovate Springfield/ University of Illinois Springfield
Obed & Isaac’s/Fire Dept/MMC Burn Unit Station – One Porter event
Kidzeum/City of Springfield

Best Not-For-Profit Initiative
Gift of Hope’s Banner Campaign
Lincoln Library’s Homeless Outreach
PCASA’s Dare to be Different Fashion Show

City Tournament 2019

Lanphier, Southeast, Springfield and Sacred Heart Griffin battle it out on the basketball court for supremacy on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Game 1 begins at 6 pm each night. Game 2 begins at 8 pm each night.

 

 

Final Old Capitol Holiday Walk

 

Time to get into the Holiday spirit! Join us at 2018’s Old Capitol Holiday Walks. There will be plenty of shopping, dining, and holiday cheer to go around. As you walk through our charming downtown neighborhood, you will enjoy carolers, our giant Christmas tree on the Plaza, performers and more!

Special Events:

 

Santa at the Old State Capitol

Saturdays 2pm – 5pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Horse Drawn Carriage

Saturdays 1pm – 4pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Music Performances

Old State Capitol

Saturdays 1pm & 4pm & Wednesdays 6pm

 

Union Park Holiday Lights & Music

Ongoing

Old Capitol Holiday Walks

 

Time to get into the Holiday spirit! Join us at 2018’s Old Capitol Holiday Walks. There will be plenty of shopping, dining, and holiday cheer to go around. As you walk through our charming downtown neighborhood, you will enjoy carolers, our giant Christmas tree on the Plaza, performers and more!

Special Events:

Tree Lighting

Watch the magic come alive as we light our neighborhood tree!

November 24th 5:30pm

 

Santa at the Old State Capitol

Saturdays 2pm – 5pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Horse Drawn Carriage

Saturdays 1pm – 4pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Music Performances

Old State Capitol

Saturdays 1pm & 4pm & Wednesdays 6pm

 

Union Park Holiday Lights & Music

Ongoing

Old Capitol Holiday Walks

 

Time to get into the Holiday spirit! Join us at 2018’s Old Capitol Holiday Walks. There will be plenty of shopping, dining, and holiday cheer to go around. As you walk through our charming downtown neighborhood, you will enjoy carolers, our giant Christmas tree on the Plaza, performers and more!

Special Events:

 

Santa at the Old State Capitol

Saturdays 2pm – 5pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Horse Drawn Carriage

Saturdays 1pm – 4pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Music Performances

Old State Capitol

Saturdays 1pm & 4pm & Wednesdays 6pm

 

Union Park Holiday Lights & Music

Ongoing

Old Capitol Holiday Walks

 

Time to get into the Holiday spirit! Join us at 2018’s Old Capitol Holiday Walks. There will be plenty of shopping, dining, and holiday cheer to go around. As you walk through our charming downtown neighborhood, you will enjoy carolers, our giant Christmas tree on the Plaza, performers and more!

Special Events:

 

Santa at the Old State Capitol

Saturdays 2pm – 5pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Horse Drawn Carriage

Saturdays 1pm – 4pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Music Performances

Old State Capitol

Saturdays 1pm & 4pm & Wednesdays 6pm

 

Union Park Holiday Lights & Music

Ongoing

2018 Record Breaking Season for Old Capitol Farmer’s Market

The Old Capitol Farmer’s Market celebrated its 19th season as a DSI program in 2018, with record breaking attendance and sales. From mid-May through October, each Wednesday & Saturday morning, the market is held on Adams Street and 4th. It boasts a total of 70 different vendors throughout the season, selling a wide variety of locally-grown and hand-crafted products, contributing to the economic, environmental and social well-being of downtown as well as the entire Springfield community.

This past summer season was the third year that DSI has partnered with Illinois Stewardship Alliance to manage the day-to-day market operations, and Springfield Area Arts Council to program the music. We are also indebted to our premier sponsor, HSHS St. John’s Hospital, plus supporting partners which include Central Baptist Church, The Dinges Family, Chef Michael Higgins, Springfield Youth Performance Group, Midwest Family, the Kidzeum, SpringfieldMoms.org and many more entities and individuals.

“The Market is a celebration of everything that is Springfield, and the partners are really proud of it,” says Market Manager Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant. “Shoppers can find everything from green zebra-striped heirloom tomatoes specially bred to thrive in this region, to homemade blueberry donuts made by local bakers using blueberries grown in the Springfield area. But the market is so much more than a great place to shop; it’s also a great investment in the community.”

2018 Season by the numbers:

  • NEW record: 65,856 total adult and child visitors (10% increase!)
  • NEW record: $23,377 spent by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers to increase their healthy food intake (43% increase!)
  • NEW record: $11,839 Credit/Debit transactions at the Market Booth (13% increase!)
  • 60 Local & Family-Owned Businesses
  • your Farmers Market food traveled 38.9 miles to get to you
  • 30% Women-Owned Businesses
  • 1733 lbs of fresh produce donated

The economic impact on Springfield is easy to see. According to the National Farmers Market Coalition, sales at locally owned businesses infuse three times more back into the local economy than chain retailers.

Download the visual 2018 OCFM Impact Report.

All Incomes Being Able to Buy

This year, the Market was able to match $10,932 of the SNAP sales thanks to Link-Up Illinois Grant offered by Experimental Station, for a total of $23,377 dollars that went directly back into the pockets of local farms and businesses. The SNAP Match program ensures that families of all income levels across Springfield have access to fresh, wholesome food and that SNAP dollars stay local. This year a new partnership with the

Junior League of Springfield helped increase the capacity for staffing, program planning, and data collection for the SNAP program.

Thanks to a new program in partnership with GenHKids, during 10 Market dates from July 25th – Oct. 3rd, farmers were able to provide 1,733 pounds of fresh produce for low-income families throughout Springfield, furthering the Market as a driver of social good.

Downtown restaurants shop weekly at the Farmers Market.

Economic Spillover for Downtown Revitalization

The #AdamsFamily continues to grow, thanks to the foot traffic created by the Farmers Market and the ability for entrepreneurs to test out their products and grow a fan base. Two 2017 vendors made the move to new brick-and-mortar homes on Adams Street in 2018: Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. and the Itty Bitty Fashion Truck.  Custom Cup Coffee also celebrated its final season selling at the Market, having started as a vendor several years ago and now running a thriving brick-and-mortar location on Monroe.

More Fresh Than Anywhere

Environmentally, farmers and food vendors at the Market travel 38.9 miles one way to bring their products to market, a carbon footprint that is significantly less than that of food on grocery shelves, which travels an average of 1200 miles. Market staff inspect new farm vendors to verify that all products are grown by the farmers and not purchased from wholesale auctions or out-of-state, ensuring that all dollars stay local and truly support area family farms. We work hard so that you can trust that our market is truly “local” and “fresh.”

Award-Winning

The Market remains one of the most popular attractions in downtown. This year, the Market received three accolades: Best Fresh Produce and Best Weekend Activity by the State Journal-Register, and Best Free Entertainment by Illinois Times. According to visitor counts recorded in 2018, 65,856 total adult and children visited the market (an average of 2,634 each Saturday) with a record-shattering 7,299 patrons on opening day, Saturday, May 19.

Chef demonstrations, educational displays by partners, and family fitness programs make the Market more than just a place to shop. St. John’s Hospital offered free health screenings, and a number of community groups offered services, such as free books from the Land of Lincoln Book Share, meditation with the Student Yoga and Mindfulness Project, and a weekly Local Business tent we added as another form of community collaboration.

We also would like to thank the City of Springfield Office of Public Works for helping ensure the safety of the streets where the Market comes alive every single week and the Convention & Visitors Bureau for promoting it to our city’s visitors.

What’s Next for the Market?

Fortunately for Springfield, the final Holiday Market takes place at the State House Inn at 2nd and Adams on December 22, and a Winter Market will take place there once a month from January – April. For a full schedule, see our calendar of events.

Next year we’ll celebrate our 20th year! Contact us if you want to be involved as a sponsor or a community group.

 

Old Capitol Holiday Walks

 

Time to get into the Holiday spirit! Join us at 2018’s Old Capitol Holiday Walks. There will be plenty of shopping, dining, and holiday cheer to go around. As you walk through our charming downtown neighborhood, you will enjoy carolers, our giant Christmas tree on the Plaza, performers and more!

Special Events:

 

Santa at the Old State Capitol

Saturdays 2pm – 5pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Horse Drawn Carriage

Saturdays 1pm – 4pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Music Performances

Old State Capitol

Saturdays 1pm & 4pm & Wednesdays 6pm

 

Union Park Holiday Lights & Music

Ongoing

Old Capitol Holiday Walks

 

Time to get into the Holiday spirit! Join us at 2018’s Old Capitol Holiday Walks. There will be plenty of shopping, dining, and holiday cheer to go around. As you walk through our charming downtown neighborhood, you will enjoy carolers, our giant Christmas tree on the Plaza, performers and more!

Special Events:

 

Santa at the Old State Capitol

Saturdays 2pm – 5pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Horse Drawn Carriage

Saturdays 1pm – 4pm & Wednesdays 5pm – 8pm

 

Music Performances

Old State Capitol

Saturdays 1pm & 4pm & Wednesdays 6pm

 

Union Park Holiday Lights & Music

Ongoing

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