Economic development organizations in Springfield and Sangamon County are working in tandem to help all of our businesses make it through the current COVID-19 shutdown.
A new website, donated by a local Springfield business, will consolidate business information across Sangamon County to keep consumers apprised of the status of their favorite local businesses and their services in one, easily searchable, place.
Any Sangamon County business or organization can simply click on “Register My Business” to get started. It takes less than three minutes for a business to create a free account. Plus they can update their status as the situation changes.
For the public, they can easily search for their favorite businesses to find out their status and whether they can purchase gift certificates, get take-out, etc.
This one-stop website was built and is being donated by Springfield businesses GoWeb1 and AlertsMadeEasy.com, who built it in two days. They are donating this effort for the entire business community in Sangamon County as a free tool to help businesses and organizations quickly communicate their operational status to the public.
All of the partner economic development organizations will market this site as Sangamon County’s one-stop information source for consumers to look up business openings and closings throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis.
CONTACT Val Yazell, City of Springfield Office of Planning and Economic Development Josh Collins, Sangamon Springfield Growth Alliance Chris Hembrough, The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Lisa Clemmons Stott, Downtown Springfield Inc Katie Davison, Innovate Springfield | Macarthur Boulevard Association Chris Long, Local First Springfield Kevin Lust, Illinois Small Business Development Center at Lincoln Land Community College
Springfield shoppers can still find locally grown, high-quality products during the winter months at one of six indoor Holiday/Winter Markets hosted by Downtown Springfield Inc. and made possible by HSHS St. John’s Hospital and other generous sponsors.
These cold-weather markets were started by Illinois Stewardship Alliance, who turned them over to DSI in 2019 under our Old Capitol Farmers Market umbrella, as we work to grow the demand for a year-round Farmers Market in downtown Springfield.
The first indoor Market is this Saturday, November 23rd from 9 am – noon, and there is one indoor Market each month through April. This year’s location is Anvil & Forge on 619 E Washington Street, which offers approximately 6,000 square feet for each Market, a much larger space than we have been able to utilize downtown previously.
The November and December, or “Holiday” Markets, are perfect for prepping for your holiday gatherings. With 35 vendors, shoppers can check out five meat vendors, five bakeries and eleven produce farms and more. Farm-fresh products include pasture-raised meats, eggs, honey, cheese, greens, carrots, potatoes, turnips, radishes, apples, and winter squashes. Regionally-produced baked goods, Illinois wine, craft beer, coffee, and other unique local gifts are also available.
While it’s often believed that farmers in central Illinois aren’t able to grow produce throughout the winter, advances in season-extension technology, such as hoop houses, have given farmers the ability to continue to grow products even in sub-freezing environments. Some crops, like spinach and kale, actually benefit from the colder temperatures, producing more sugars and a sweeter flavor.
THANKSGIVING TURKEY PRE-ORDERS
Customers looking to pick up a Thanksgiving turkey can pre-order from Garden Gate Farm. The turkeys are pasture-raised with non-GMO feed and range in size between 11 and 24 lbs. They are priced at $4.00/lb. and can be ordered via email or by phone 815-848-3518.
DOUBLE VALUE LINK PROGRAM
LINK cards are accepted, and the Double Value Program offered by the Old Capitol Farmers Market is still available thanks to grants from the State Treasurer’s Charitable Trust Program and LinkUp Illinois. LINK recipients will receive a $25 match to use on fresh fruits and vegetables. This means LINK recipients can swipe their card for $25 and receive an additional $25 to use on produce, doubling their purchasing power and making wholesome holiday meals available to families across Springfield.
Parking is free on the streets of downtown Springfield during the indoor markets and the parking garage next to the Convention Center is one block away.
The indoor Market dates are: Saturday, December 21; Saturday, January 18; Saturday, February 15; Saturday, March 21; and Saturday, April 18.
MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SPONSORS
The Old Capitol Farmers Market is a free, 12 month activity that is organized by Downtown Springfield Inc., in partnership with premier sponsor HSHS St. John’s Hospital. Other sponsors include Development Services Group, Community Bankers Association of Illinois, State Treasurer’s Charitable Trust Grant Program, LinkUp Illinois, Junior League of Springfield, Bank of Springfield, The Baker Group, SpringfieldMoms.org, West Central Bank, Davis Financial Group, Central Baptist Church and the City of Springfield.
The 9th Annual Downhome Music Festival will be held on July 26 & 27, 2019 at the corner of 7th and Washington in downtown Springfield, Illinois. The event will feature all local, original live bands (4 stages – constant music). There will be local food vendors, 100 different craft beers, as well as a kids area for the little ones!
Dates & Times
Friday: 5pm -12am
Saturday : 2pm -12am
$6 at the gate. You can also buy tickets from your favorite local band playing the 2019 festival.
Kid 12 & under are free.
A Civil War Drive Through Oak Ridge Cemetery: A Private, A Daughter, and A Colonel
The Summer Civil War Series will begin with a Civil War Cemetery Drive on Thursday, June 13. The event will start at 5:15 pm at Oak Ridge Cemetery. At each of the three grave sites, a program of music and a talk about the individual will be presented:
Governor John Tanner, a private in the Civil War, discussed by John Alexander and Chuck Murphy with music from the Old Capitol Choral Singers
Nellie Grant Jones, the daughter of General U.S. Grant with Larry Werline portraying General U.S. Grant and Jeannie Alexander telling the story of his daughter. Civil War aires will be played on violin by Rachel Helton
Colonel Samuel Shoup, the last Civil War-time commander of the 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry will be chronicled by Richard Shatchsiek, current Colonel of the 114th Reactivated. The musicians of the 114th Reactivated will begin a variety of tunes,
Komen Memorial has selected to be one of twenty-six locations across the country to launch the new Susan G. Komen MORE THAN PINK Walk™ event, which along with a new name will include a fresh new look and experience focused on energizing the community around the lifesaving work Komen’s supporters make possible. This new approach is based on input from participants across the country, data from nine pilot events in 2018, and by Komen’s own observations from years as the leader in breast cancer walks.
Looking for Lincoln will host a new program featuring Lincoln impersonator George Buss and Illinois folk musician and folklorist Chris Vallillo in the premier of their new show, Lincoln The Great Communicator. The program combines live period music with conversation and narrative by President Lincoln (using Lincoln’s own words) to explore Lincoln’s use of communication as a personal and political tool. The event is free and open to the public.
This theatrical style program is presented as a casual conversation between President Lincoln and Vallillo discussing Lincoln’s gifts as a communicator and way he used those skills for the betterment of mankind throughout his lifetime. In the midst of the conversation, Vallillo will perform period music on guitar, bottleneck slide Dobro, banjo and jaw harp to illustrate Lincoln’s point and the President will quote passages from some of his favorite speeches.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
S 2nd St & E Capitol Avenue (Infront of the Capitol Building)
Celebrate Independence Day with the Springfield Jaycees at our annual Capital City Celebration in front of the Capitol Building. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 pm (weather dependent).
The Capital City Celebration is free to the public and tickets are not required. However, we’d love your support for our local vendors and the Springfield Jaycees by purchasing food and drinks. This event is funded by those sales and generous sponsors.
On-street parking is available as are the various parking garages in downtown Springfield. We encourage you to arrive early. Please do not park in a lot that requires a permit. The Springfield Jaycees is not responsible for towed cars. Also, please take care when driving downtown as there will be a large number of pedestrians and children.
There will be food, music, and entertainment for kids.
More information to follow as we finalize details.