CommonsFest will combine former MarketFest and Business Expo

CommonsFest is the new collaborative Greater Springfield Partnership event that will bring larger brick and mortar businesses and services together with smaller businesses and startups.

“We get to really emphasize ‘local’ in a lot of different ways,” says Camaren Sloan, events manager for the Partnership.

In past years, the Partnership’s annual Business Expo gathered more than 30 area businesses, services and organizations who would set up booths to share information and advertise. And separately, MarketFest was an evening version of the Springfield Farmer’s Market.

CommonsFest will be the best of both. A variety of local businesses – think HVAC, insurance, accountants, and food vendors – community services and organizations will gather in the greenspace of National Road Commons along with a mix of farmer’s market vendors for one larger event.

“The event is going to be able to focus on a lot of different aspects of Springfield and our surrounding areas,” Sloan says. “It will be a good opportunity to learn about more of our local options and businesses at all levels.”

CommonsFest will also feature local live music from Anna Marie Music and The American Landscape. And, there will be a variety of foodtrucks – Young’s on the Moove, Tortilla Street, Southside Squeeze, Thank God It’s Fryday, and Rudy’s Smokehouse.

National Road Commons is within DORA, so visitors can grab a drink from one of the area restaurants to enjoy while they wander.

“We wanted to approach both events as a night out that you can enjoy, with more of a festival atmosphere, where you can come and go, enjoy a drink, and have a great opportunity to network and connect with a lot of different people, agencies and businesses in a fun environment,” Sloan says.

The event will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, and is designed to coincide with First Friday, which kicks-off at 5 p.m. Sloan says CommonsFest starts earlier than First Friday so that shoppers and vendors don’t have to choose one or the other.

“This is really a nice opportunity to experience all that’s going on Downtown that night,” Sloan says. “The time will allow both shoppers and vendors to enjoy CommonsFest and then still enjoy the rest of the night out Downtown.

"We’re encouraging people to start out here, and then take advantage of visiting all the other places with First Friday things going on that night because we’re we will be in a pretty central location for people go to COhatch or Mother’s or Fratelli’s or anywhere else Downtown.”

Spots for CommonsFest are still available. To register, contact Sloan at [email protected].

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.

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