Enjoy the merriment and mischief Downtown Springfield
The 2017 Old Capitol Holiday Walks, produced annually by Downtown Springfield Inc., (DSI) is a tradition that captures the magic of the holidays in one beautifully historic setting. Enjoy the #merryandmischief while you shop, dine and drink local: visit Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Old State Capitol, ride in the horse-drawn carriage, hear musical performances, vote for your favorite window displays, and pop a letter into the Santa mailbox - all for free to the public.
DSI elves have been busy this year adding dancing SYPG elves, a free Holiday Walks bus route, chestnuts roasting, and a lighted Menorah to the festivities. Plus you may see President Lincoln and one of the best shoppers of all time—Mary Todd—as you shop.
The Walks kick off on Small Business Saturday, November 25th. It’s the perfect day to find the most thoughtful, unique gifts while supporting your neighbors that run small businesses and whose taxes support the local economy.
Nearly 30 new businesses have opened downtown in the past two years, including fabulous new retail shops, restaurants and breweries. The walks provide a leisurely time to grab a meal or a glass of wine between checking out what’s new, visiting old favorites, and perusing a variety of pop-up stores.
Holiday Farmers’ Market
Start a tradition and shop locally for fresh ingredients and unique gifts that will make all your holiday gatherings merry and bright at the 11th annual Holiday Farmers Market on Saturday, December 16th in the Orr Building, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds from 9am to 1pm.
The Holiday Farmers Markets presents more than 35 vendors from Central Illinois selling a wide variety from pasture-raised turkeys, pork, beef, poultry, eggs and cheese to honey, apples, baked goods, cider, beer, and wine. Hot coffee and hot chocolate are also available.
Copper Pot Cooking Studio has lunch items for purchase, including soups, made from local ingredients, and served with fresh-baked bread.
Many farmers have found inventive ways to extend their growing seasons well into the winter months. Fresh greens, garlic, potatoes, squash, radishes, carrots, apples and other varieties of produce are available. Not only is this an opportunity to purchase delicious, seasonal food for the upcoming holidays, but it also gives shoppers one last chance to stock up on local foods before the winter.
This event, organized by Illinois Stewardship Alliance and their Buy Fresh Buy Local Chapter in partnership with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Slow Food Springfield, LRS (Levi, Ray, and Shoup), and Illinois National Bank, is free to the public.
For innovators addressing social issues, the need is great, the work is hard, and the stakes are high. That's why Innovate Springfield's Social Innovation Program is here to help them use data and evaluation in service of the community. We believe that enacting our vision for a more innovative region requires us to think critically and creatively about how we can all support our neighbors in need, so the Social Innovation Program focuses on supporting the development of evidence-based, impact-driven programs that improve the lives of under-served Springfield-area residents.
The Business Incubation Program aims to support entrepreneurs in the early stages of development through Innovate Springfield’s collaborative space, essential office amenities, high-quality capacity building programming, and community of entrepreneurs. The organization also connects its business incubation members with mentors, legal and financial advisors, and the UIS Center for Entrepreneurship. In short, Innovate Springfield is creating and supporting a community of innovators in the name of economic and community development.
Find out more about Innovate Springfield by visiting innovatespringfield.org
MacArthur Boulevard Association
The MacArthur Boulevard Association is a business and neighborhood association that focuses on the economic and community development of the Boulevard and its adjoining neighborhoods. The Association advocates on behalf of the Boulevard on zoning and infrastructure issues, markets business and neighborhood events, and also organizes the city's premiere food truck meet up event series every summer.
As the site of the first regional shopping mall in the area, MacArthur Boulevard has a history of being inextricably linked to holiday shopping. The MacArthur Boulevard Association invites you to shop local and shop on MacArthur this holiday season. Apparel, automotive, boutique retail, unique dining, electronics, footwear, home decor, and jewelry, wholesale and international groceries - you can find everything on your holiday shopping list at a MacArthur vendor.