By: Diane Benjamin
Bloomington has a calendar of events. Meetings are listed, but so are other events like Ice Cream at the Zoo and BCPA events. https://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/calendar
Missing are the Farmers Markets which actually do get people downtown on Saturday mornings. Also missing are Saturdays on the Square.
In case you missed the 2013 extensive downtown study, see it here: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/26747/637628727660670000
Start with page 64. The YMCA was thought to be the next great catalyst project. Next year they will be moving to their new facility on the east side. The DBA (Downtown Bloomington Association) no longer exists, the City took it over because businesses weren’t participating. The Way-Finding signs were recommended in this document.
Try searching cityblm.org for Saturdays on the Square. You won’t find anything, at least not near the top of the results.
That didn’t stop the City from paying $21,400 for them. That amount covered 4 Saturdays of musical performances at $5,350 each.
I FOIA’d these payments. They are to the Castle Theater in Bloomington for arranging each. I don’t know what time of day each happened or how long each performance lasted. $5,350 each is all the information I have. If you attended, please comment with the missing pieces.
Think hard, who else pays musicians to get people to their downtown? That would be Normal, the only difference is what they call theirs.
We have no economic impact numbers for Normal. If ISU kids are the ones attending that doesn’t bring anybody to Uptown, they are already in the area.
Does Bloomington have any economic impact numbers? “Searching” would be fruitless!
Did hundreds or thousands attend? Did they shop downtown? Do people who attend the Farmer’s Market shop downtown?
Maybe Bloomington should work on all those buildings that have been vacant for decades instead of trying to create reasons to be downtown. See the previous story: https://blnnews.com/2021/10/04/pre-covid-downtown-bloomington/
What’s a good word for just copying what Normal does?
At least the money went to a local business!