Cool Spring Downtown District Receives Award

ByShannon J. Cortes

Oct 4, 2022

The International Downtown Association honored Cool Spring Downtown District with the Downtown Achievement Award for its ingenious approaches to its inaugural event, Night Circus, a New Year’s Eve Spectacular.

A jury of professional peers reviewed, deliberated and evaluated all entries for the 2022 Downtown Achievement Awards.
The Excellence Award recognizes an excellent response to an urban places management challenge, demonstrating the application of industry knowledge and exceeding the criteria of the jury.

Night Circus was among 23 qualified entries in the Marketing, Communications and Events category, which IDA identifies as one of seven professional practice areas of urban place management. This category presents unique organizational approaches and projects in the areas of branding, public relations, marketing strategies and communication plans.

“To be recognized internationally for our efforts is truly an honour. We love to bring positive recognition to our deserving city,” said Bianca Shoneman of the Cool Spring Downtown District.
The event, in partnership with the City of Fayetteville, was Fayetteville’s first self-organized New Year’s Eve production in over a decade. Headliners included four national tours – All-4-One, Rob Base, C+C Music Factory and Coolio.

Inspired by a novel of the same name, the circus featured an array of acrobats, aerialists, fire dancers, live art demonstrations and more, along with a variety of delicious food to tempt the senses.

To transition from 2021 to 2022, the team hired a local production company, Blashfield Signs, to make an eighteen-foot multicolored star studded with more than 150 LED lights. At the stroke of midnight, the star rose in the sky, accompanied by a spectacular firework display, ringing in the New Year.

“Coming out of the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew we wanted something vibrant and exciting for our community as we celebrated surviving a tumultuous year and moving towards prosperity in the next.” , shared the director of special projects, Ashanti Bennett.

Cool Spring Downtown District has demonstrated a skillful application of urban place management principles with its Night Circus project, said IDA President and CEO David Downey. “The Night Circus should serve as a framework for all IDA member communities.”

Sponsors for the event included: Piedmont Natural Gas, Presenting Sponsor and ABC11 as Title Media Sponsor. Healy Wholesale, Public Works Board, Dogwood Festival, Cumulus Broadcasting, Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Beasley Media, City View Magazine and Fayetteville-Cumberland County Arts Council were also corporate donors. Various city departments, particularly the parks and recreation department, assisted in the management of the events.

IDA, based in Washington, DC, is the premier organization for urban place professionals who shape and activate vibrant downtown neighborhoods. The Cool Spring Downtown District is the urban places management organization representing the interests of Fayetteville landowners.