New Downtown Event Lets Shoppers “Dash” for Prizes

By Jeremy Coumbes on May 17, 2023 at 12:56pm

A new event is making its way across downtown Jacksonville this weekend, and organizers are stressing not to worry, it isn’t an actual footrace. The new Downtown Dash is a two-hour shopping event that kicks off this Saturday at 10:00 am.

Jacksonville Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe says the Downtown Dash isn’t a marathon race, and you don’t even have to run, but it is a mad dash through local businesses in and around the downtown square.

Tighe says the event starts with everyone picking up a scorecard at the registration desk inside The Plaza in the former Elliot State Bank building. “You pick up a scorecard, your Downtown Bucks, and map and then you dash around to all the different stores that are on the map and you complete challenges at the different stores- and they’re fun.

It’s not like super high skilled so you don’t have to be super athletic, but just maybe know how to bounce a ball or throw something, and there’s some guessing games and quizzes; a taste test, and just a variety of different fun challenges.

So you complete all of those and you get points and then at the end, or the end of the two hours, you go back to the registration desk at The Plaza and turn it in, and then you can win more Downtown Bucks that are all usable for shopping at the participating locations, and maybe win a prize.”

Each participant will receive $10 in Downtown Bucks to spend either during the dash or afterward at participating locations.

Tighe says the event is a homegrown idea from a collaboration between the Main Street Promotions Committee and several downtown businesses that just wanted to do something fun while giving to a good cause.

Proceeds from the Downtown Dash are benefiting the Jacksonville Food Center on East State Street. After participants complete the dash, they will head back to The Plaza to tally up their points where prizes and more Downtown Bucks will be awarded.

Tighe says free samples from the Springfield Beer Company will also be available. She says the Downtown Dash is a great way to get people acclimated to downtown and all the new businesses that have opened up.

We have so many new little shops that have opened up in the last couple of years, and just even in this year. So come downtown, see what’s new and what’s going on because we have a load of stuff downtown, there’s tons of things to do. Lots of different types of stores and products available, all different kinds of things.”

The Downtown Dash kicks off at 10:00 am and runs till 12 noon this Saturday. More information can be found on the Jacksonville Main Street Facebook page, or the website