Visit Champaign County released their 2016–2017 Visitors Guide showcasing the “Outside of Ordinary” attractions, festivals and businesses that can be enjoyed in the greater Champaign County area. This year’s publication features a new section, Makers, highlighting eight artisans in the community.
“Beyond the tremendous amount of great places to visit and world-class events to participate in, we have exceptional people in this community that truly make us ‘Outside of Ordinary,” explains Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing for Visit Champaign County. “We wanted to recognize those whose passion in their craft is contributing to the vibrancy of our area, while also showing diversity in the products they are creating.”
The Makers featured include Mark Herriott, Columbia Street Roastery; Jackie Wright, The Wright Soapery; Kaya Tate; Hopscotch Cakes & Confections; Scott Scobar, Scobar Clothing; Leslie Cooperband, Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery; Hugh Bridgeford, Moohshine Jugs; Jim Downey, Prairie Fire Glass; and Dustin Kelly, Autumn Berry Inspired.
Each artisan is featured with a portrait photo with their product or in their creative setting with a profile on their craft and how the public can access them. As visitors and residents look to shop local, this section will open their eyes to exclusive products that are made and sold in the greater Champaign County area, whether it’s jam made from an invasive species or eclectic, graphic t-shirts.
“This community has a high concentration of talented and unique artisans,” states Reifsteck. “Narrowing the field to these eight was very difficult, so we want to expand this campaign on our website.”
Artisans who have products available to the public can submit a 100-word profile and photo for consideration to Visit Champaign County at email@example.com. Products can include craft beer, jewelry, art, food, clothing, accessories, or any unique item that’s handmade in Champaign County, Arthur or Monticello.
In addition to showcasing makers, the new Visitors Guide expanded to tell the story of regional partners, Arthur, Monticello and Allerton Park & Retreat Center. Reifsteck says, “It was really fun to bring in new events, attractions and businesses to our guide that truly add to the experience in East Central Illinois.” Attractions like the Monticello Railway Museum and the Great Pumpkin Patch, along with experiences like dinner in an Amish home are among the new additions.
The guide also features editorial showcasing international cuisine, sustainable travel, local farms and ingredients, trails to try, sports, arts & culture, and so much more.
70,000 guides are now being distributed at various touchpoints, including the Travel Information Centers along the interstates in Illinois, Market Place Mall, Willard Airport, area hotels and businesses, and the Champaign County Welcome Center in downtown Champaign.
For more information on the Maker campaign, or the Visitors Guide, contact Terri Reifsteck at 217-351-4133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.