Since 2013, the Tour of Progress has served as NewTown Macon’s annual meeting. The Tour of Progress is a creative, engaging, and interactive way to show the community the growth and change in downtown Macon. Each year, the NewTown Macon staff curates a walking tour that highlights future, transformative developments and recently completed projects that will enhance downtown Macon’s vitality and growth. With each passing year, it gets more and more difficult to select the tour route as downtown is growing at a rapid pace.
Thanks to the generosity of Cadence Bank, the Tour of Progress is free and open to the public each year. We invite you to attend this signature event to garner a deeper insight and knowledge of downtown’s trajectory and how you can support downtown revitalization.
2021 Tour Details
To take the tour, stop by A Brooke Haven Lounge., between 4pm and 7pm to pick up a tour map and to tour one of downtown's newest nightlife spots.
Set out around downtown and look for decals with QR codes in front of each tour stop. Scan the QR code with your smartphone to read more about the highlighted business or project and to learn from the entrepreneurs and developers that are fueling downtown's progress.
Volunteers will be stationed along the way to keep you moving in the right direction and to answer questions.
End your self-guided walking tour at Macon City Auditorium at 415 First Street to enjoy drinks, light refreshments, and music by The Bozwellz. Tour-goers who wish to attend the awards ceremony should arrive at Macon City Auditorium by 6:45pm.
The Partner in Progress awards reception will take place outdoors on the Renasant Plaza of the Auditorium following tours and will begin at 7pm.
All those who plan to take the tour or attend the awards ceremony and reception are encouraged to register on Eventbrite. Tickets will be scanned at A Brooke Haven Lounge and the Macon City Auditorium upon arrival. The event is completely free and open to the public!
2021 Tour Route
Partners in Progress Awards
Each year, NewTown recognizes businesses, organizations, and individuals who have demonstrated exceptional passion and commitment to the revitalization of downtown Macon. The awards are given in eleven categories: The R. Kirby Godsey Leadership Award, Juanita T. Jordan Community Service Award, Growing Jobs Award, Increasing Residents Award, Creating a Sense of Place Award, 360 Degrees Award, Special Recognition Award, Emerging Partner Award, Emerging Leader Award, and Downtown Ambassador Award. Awards may or may not be given in every category.
R. Kirby Godsey Leadership Award
The R. Kirby Godsey Leadership Award is presented to an individual whose accomplishments and professional contributions to downtown’s revitalization have been outstanding and innovative. This award, along with the Juanita Jordan Award, are the highest awards that our Board of Directors can bestow and are not given every year. These awards are only given to recognize exceptional contributions to downtown over many years, if not decades
David Thompson (2016), Bill Causey (2015), Thomas Wicker (2014), Bibb County Legislative Delegation/ Consolidation (2012), Bill Underwood (2011), Sam Hart & Robert Reichert (2009), Gene Dunwody, Sr. (2007)
Growing Jobs Award
The Partners in Progress Award for Growing Jobs Award goes to individuals, businesses, or organizations strengthening the quantity and quality of jobs in the downtown area.
Blue Sky Lab, an entity of Robins Air Force Base (2020), Z Beans (2019), Macon Bacon Baseball (2018), Chrissy Eiszner and Vincent Kelly (2017), Hot Plates Restaurant Group (2016), Just Tap’d (2015), Macon Beer Company (2014), Dannenberg Partners (2012), Secure Health (2011), Talmadge Stuckey (2009), Dick Godschalk, SCORE Middle GA (2008), GCSU/ Dorothy Leland (2007), Tony Long and Gene Dunwody, Jr. (2006)
Creating a Sense of Place
The Creating a Sense of Place winner may establish a popular event; improve the aesthetics of downtown; create a business that attracts people downtown; protect or preserve an endangered building or property; strengthen the community; or enhance public space.
Macon-Bibb County Parks and Beautification Department (2020), McEachern Arts Center (2019), Sparks Yoga (2018), Macon-Bibb County Parks and Beautification Department (2017), Just Tap’d (2016), Macon-Bibb Parks and Beautification (2015), League of Creative Interventionist (2014), Jean Bragg (2014), Mercer University Football Program (2013), Macon Film Commission (2012), Karen Lambert (2011), Mike Dyer, Cox Communications (2009), Brad Evans, Bragg Jam (2008), CVB/Janice Marshall (2007), David Thompson (2006)
The Special Recognition Award is presented to an individual or organization for outstanding efforts in a specific area of revitalization of downtown or community improvement.
Community Foundation of Central Georgia and United Way (2020), 567 Center for Renewal (2019), Visit Macon & Georgia Beef Board for Burger Week (2019), Macon Magazine (2016), Hometown Yoga’s “Hoppy Hour Yoga” (2015), Cesare Mammarella (2013), Steve Lawson (2013), Partnership for Downtown Beautification (2013), Al Gerhart (2012) ,FPD Downtown Campus (2012), Pilar Wilder (2011), Joey Stuckey (2011), Catherine Sample, Macon Arts (2009), Terrell Sandefur, SoChi Gallery (2009), Naomi Davis, City Market (2008), Theatre Macon/Jim Crisp (2007), Zelma & Karla Redding (2007), Frank Amerson, Jr. (2006)
The Emerging Partner Award showcases new individuals or organizations becoming involved in the downtown movement.
Visit Macon (2020), Alex Habersham, Middle Georgia Black Pages (2019), Mercer Innovation Center (2018), Bike Walk Macon (2017), Macon Bibb Urban Development Authority (2016) Main Street Macon (2015) Rick Hill (2013) Gil Herrington (2013) Jim Daws (2012) Tony Widner (2011) Brian Adams and Ryan Griffin (2011) Jeff Jones and Clay Murphey (2006)
Juanita T. Jordan Community Service Award
The Juanita Jordan Community Service award is given to an individual or organization who has gone above and beyond in the field of community service within our community. Again, one of our highest regarded awards.
Bryan Nichols (2018), BID Committee (2017), Daybreak (2016), Thomas Wicker (2013), Chris Sheridan (2011), Larry Schlesinger (2009), Wimberly Treadwell (2008), Lynn Cass (2007)
Emerging Leader Award
The Emerging Leader award goes to an organization or individual that has made significant contributions to downtown Macon and has demonstrated the potential for leadership and continuing service.
Tiara Ponce (2020), Richard Frazier (2019), Tonja Khabir (2018), Marlon Baldwin and Jake Hall (2017), Kaitlynn Kressin (2016), Robins Financial Credit Union (2013), Heritage Bank (2013), CHW – Mulberry Market (2011), Keith Watson (2009), Ruby’s in Rush/Ruby Roberts (2007)
360 Degrees Award
The 360 Degrees Award honors individuals, businesses, or organizations that are improving all aspects of downtown. The 360 Degrees award winner exhibits a commitment to all three of NewTown’s focus areas: increasing residents, growing jobs, and creating a sense of place.
Mercer Music at Capricorn (2020), Bumbledawg Enterprises (2019), Downtown Challenge Fund (2017), Sierra Development (2016), Macon Action Plan (2015), Chad and Wes Griffith for H&H (2014), Bryan Nichols and Kevin Reaves (2013), Tony Widner (2012), Josh Rogers, Historic Macon housing (2011), College-Hill, Sarah Gerwig-Moore (2009), Wes Griffith (2008)
The Downtown Ambassador Award goes to an individual or organization acting as a representative or promoter of downtown. The nominee may encourage the community to visit, live, shop, or recreate downtown. The nominee would be characterized as a positive force for downtown.
Brent and Catherine Meyer (2020), DSTO Moore (2020), Karen Hix (2019), Charles Davis (2018), Downtown Macon Community Association (2017), Scott Mitchell (2016) Diana Blair (2015) Steve and Laura Bell (2014) Bob Fickling, Jazz on the Dock (2012) Capital City Bank (2011) Willie Nesbitt (2007)