The street was blocked off to traffic, and there was a number of
activities going on there. Among those, was an opportunity for folks
to have their photo taken with their beloved pet in exchange for a
donation to the Central Bark Dog Park, a project currently underway
Also on hand was the Humane Society of Logan County selling their
beautiful calendar that features local first responders from
throughout Logan County.
Another set of tables was set up showing off an array of new woven
products being offered at Abeís Carmelcorn Shoppe. Bounce houses
were set up for the kids as well as some life-sized kidís games
similar to Kerplunk and Jenga.
Integrity Data, located on the northwest corner of the block was
also represented with a table set up in front of Sir Renna where
visitors could register to win a floral gift from Three Roses
Floral. There was also an opportunity to enter into a drawing for a
large gift basket filled with goodies from Abeís, Prairie Years, and
Inside Prairie Years, there was plenty to see, and shoppers were
taking the time to go in take a look around and make some nice
purchases. Word got out earlier this fall that Prairie Years might
be going out of business. Saturday, store employee Carole Boch said
the store had been in jeopardy of closing. However, owner Sam
Redding took a step back and looked at the merchandising plan and
made some positive adjustments. They had adjusted their line of
adult items such as jewelry and increased their line of Abraham
Lincoln-related items. She said shoppers had responded positively to
the changes, and the store will remain open.
Indeed there are some really fun things in the store, such as the
extra-large stuffed animals, beautiful and unique jewelry items,
books and toys that require no batteries or internet, and lots of
other fun things for kids and adults.
Next door at Abeís, Helen Rainforth was excited to see folks coming
in and admiring the wide variety of items offered in her store. She
said that for her personally, one of the most gratifying things is
when people say they enjoy the way the store looks and seeing all
the wonderfully unique items.
In addition to the display of baskets outside, there is a full
corner of the store dedicated to other items made from similar
materials. Rainforth explained that last year, her business began
selling these lovely woven items that were coming from India, and
made by the women of that country. The items are woven or hand tied
material baskets as well as other ornamental items. She said the
female owned business recycles worn out and used clothing in their
weaving, which accounts for the wide variety of colors and textures
in the products.
As always, the store features its wonderful popcorn products, isles
and isles of candy, gourmet food products, and some amazing kitchen
and home products.
Sir Renna Tea & Gifts is new to Lincoln. The business opened quietly
in October and will have a grand opening and ribbon cutting with the
Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce later this month. Bubble
Tea is well known in many of the larger cities, but for Lincoln,
this is a newer product.
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On Saturday, Eileen Mullins, owner of the store was busy mixing up
samples of the special brew and also filling orders for full-sized
drinks placed by customers. Bubble tea is a tea product served with
Black Pearl Tapioca in the glass, which produces bubbles in the tea
and thus the name. Samples being given out include a rich, cool
Mocha and other offerings such as raspberry.
The Mocha was sweet and chocolatey. It was explained that the drink
contained a decaffeinated tea to which was added a rich mocha powder
and the tapioca. The result was a delicious chocolate drink with
light tea undertones. In addition to the special beverage, the shop
will also offer sandwiches for a quick and delicious lunch.
But, even if you are not in the mood for tea or a bite to eat, this
is a store that every shopper should stop in and browse a bit,
especially as we approach the gift-giving season. The retail section
of the store includes unique items such as wall hangings, dream
catchers, Route 66 items, body lotions and skin products, soy
candles, jewelry, and much more.
Back outside, Lincoln Mayor Marty Neitzel and aldermen Jonie Tibbs
and Rick Hoefle were enjoying the opportunity to get out and see
folks as they came and went at the block party. Also on hand,
enjoying the tribute to Route 66 was Geoff Ladd of the Route 66
Ladd, who also works for the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, is
currently working with the city of Lincoln to install new Route 66
signage that will include the downtown area. As some may know, the
Route 66 Mother Road passed through Lincoln, and at one point in
time the route included a spur that passed through the downtown
area. Until now, that downtown route has not been marked for
tourists, but it will be soon. The expectation is that avid Route 66
travelers will be eager to see the old route well marked, and will
come into the downtown area, where it is hoped that they will stop
and take in the many retail businesses that grace the heart of the
city. North Kickapoo will be part of that newly marked route.
All-in-all, it was a great day, the weather was perfect, many folks
came out with their pets, and the kids had a blast playing with the
games and jumping in the bounce houses. Shoppers enjoyed visiting
with business owners and checking out the storesí offerings, and Sir
Renna Tea was made to feel welcome in the community.