What started as a community outreach project in 2005 has grown to include a two-day outdoor street festival which features live music, vendors, food and kids’ activities plus a 10K walk/run and a PDGA-certified disc golf tournament. The 11th annual SOHO Music Festival will occur June 3-4 while the 10K and disc golf tournament will take place on June 4.
The SOHO Music Festival is the brainchild of SOHO Springfield, a nonprofit organization with the goal of promoting local Springfield culture and assisting charities with public recognition and fundraising. The SOHO acronym stands for Springfield Service Organization for Humanitarian Opportunity. Last year’s SOHO Music Festival was attended by 11,000 individuals and raised more than $16,000 for local charities. This year’s goal is 15,000 attendees and $20,000 to be raised, according to festival organizer Eric Welch.
The 2016 SOHO street festival returns to its usual grounds on Fifth, Sixth and Washington streets. It is slated to feature more than 63 talented local and regional acts plus a handful of national acts on five stages. The music runs from 5 p.m. through midnight on Friday night, and noon through midnight on Saturday. Friday’s featured performers include The Fireside Relics, Black Queen, Young Luck, Hurricane Ruth, Nick Bifano and the Innocents and Old Smoke. Saturday’s lineup includes Good Times and Company, Los Injectors, The Blue G’s, Dan Hubbard and more.
Other festival attractions include a slew of vendors, plus food and alcohol. This year vendors will have additional display space on the Old State Capitol grounds, which have been off-limits in previous years. Children will enjoy the kids’ carnival and inflatables, located on Fifth Street just south of Washington Street. For a list of vendors and a map of the festival grounds, visit http://springfieldsoho.org.
The SOHO 10K run/walk was added to the SOHO festivities in 2014 and is a healthy addition to the SOHO event lineup. The 6.2-mile point-to-point race will occur on Saturday, June 4, at 8 a.m., along the paved Sangamon Valley Trail, starting at Stuart Park and finishing at Centennial Park. The flat, fast, mostly straight course follows the abandoned path of the old St. Louis, Peoria and Northwestern Railway, making it a great course for both novice runners looking for fun and experienced racers looking to PR. Advance registration is $50 and includes two passes plus five beverage tickets for the SOHO Music Festival as well as your race bib, 10K t-shirt, a finisher’s medal/commemorative beer bottle opener plus live music, drinks and hot food at the finish line party, which begins at noon at the SOHO Music Festival downtown. On-site race registration will be available June 3 and 4 for $60, cash only. To guarantee your spot in the SOHO 10K, preregister at http://soho10k2016.eventzilla.net.
The SOHO Open III is a PDGA-sanctioned Pro/Am B disc-golf tournament. It will be played on Saturday, June 4, at 9:30 a.m., just west of Fifth Street on Washington located on the SOHO Music Festival grounds. Disc golf follows the format of traditional golf but is played with a Frisbee as opposed to a ball and clubs. Each player throws their disc from a tee area into an elevated metal basket called a PoleHole. The goal is to complete each hole with the fewest throws, and the winner is the person with the lowest score at the conclusion of the course. The SOHO Open is a fun opportunity for amateurs and professionals to have fun, compete for a $500 cash prize and player’s pack, and raise money for 10 local charities in the process. Registration costs $33-48, and can be completed online at http://bit.ly/1T0aCeI. For more information about the SOHO Open III, contact course director Miles Parkhill at email@example.com. –Nan Bulli