CommonsFest showcases dozens of Springfield area businesses

National Road Commons Park in downtown Springfield will be the sight of CommonsFest on Thursday, a chance to explore 45 local vendors and their goods and services, as well as vendors and artisans who frequent the weekly Springfield Farmers Market. FILE

Combined ShapeCaption
National Road Commons Park in downtown Springfield will be the sight of CommonsFest on Thursday, a chance to explore 45 local vendors and their goods and services, as well as vendors and artisans who frequent the weekly Springfield Farmers Market. FILE

Food trucks, entertainment part of event at park.

An uncommon combination of two previous Springfield annual events came together a year ago to create a new summer tradition, a showcase for local businesses and their products and services.

CommonsFest, which united the Business Expo and MarketFest into one event, proved popular and the Greater Springfield Partnership, will present the second version from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at National Road Commons Park, 21 Fisher St. Admission is free.

With an emphasis on being family-friendly, visitors can expect around 45 vendors from local businesses — large and small — and nonprofits. It also adds a larger-scale version of the weekly Saturday Farmers Market, with locally-grown products, and a variety of artisans round out the variety.

Add in food trucks, a beer garden featuring Mother Stewart’s products and live music and it becomes an entire evening in one of Springfield’s prime green spaces.

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“We saw how positive people reacted last year and we grew the number of vendors and made some other changes to get the community together to celebrate everything local,” said John Kelly, downtown events programmer for GSP.

CommonsFest will include several of the new businesses established in downtown Springfield recently including Sunflower Yoga, which will do an interactive yoga class at 5 p.m.

The event also allows vendors to get creative by offering interactive things such as cornhole and miniature golf to keep all ages interested.

Kelly said this will also be an opportunity for people to shop at some of the downtown businesses, including Mother Stewart’s and Hatch Artist Studios, which will also have special activities to add to the experience.

DORA beverages will be offered, so people can take their drinks to different locations under that banner. Local band The American Landscape will play live, 5-7 p.m.

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Kelly suggested to also explore one of the city’s “best-kept secrets”, National Road Commons.

“Hopefully after CommonsFest, it won’t be anymore,” he said. “This will be a cool and fun kickoff for the weekend.”

HOW TO GO

What: CommonsFest

Where: National Road Commons Park, 21 Fisher St., Springfield

When: 4-7 p.m. Thursday

Admission: Free

More info: facebook.com/GreaterSpringfieldPartnership

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