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.
2023 Tour Details Coming Soon!
Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of downtown Macon’s transformative development. NewTown Macon’s Tour of Progress, presented by Cadence Bank, provides a sneak peek of projects underway and a look into what programs fuel our vibrant downtown. This event is family-friendly and FREE!
This year, tours will be led by NewTown’s familiar faces. To take the tour, please register for a time slot on Eventbrite.
Tours will begin at Longleaf Distillery (664 2nd St), where tour participants will receive a complimentary drink from Longleaf. Then, your tour guide will lead you through downtown Macon, showing off 16 fantastic projects and businesses! The tour route will encompass Second Street, Plum Street, Third Street, and Cherry Street.
Tours will end with an after-party at JBA, where tour participants can enjoy music, refreshments, and drinks.
While this event is free, we ask that you please RSVP so we can schedule tours properly.
**Please note: This year, Tour of Progress will not include the Partners in Progress Awards Ceremony immediately after. Stay tuned for information on this event.
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
Chris Sheridan (2022), 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.
First Choice Primary Care(2022), Macon Rocks Climbing Gym (2021), 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.
Barks n Brews(2022), Ambitious Graphics (2021), One World Link (2021), Kinjo Kitchen + Cocktails (2021), 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.
Bert Maxwell Furniture(2022), Macon-Bibb Parks and Recreation (2021), 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 recipient of the Partners in Progress Award for Increasing Residents may directly increase residents by renovating historic buildings or creating new projects that house lofts, apartments, or condominiums; financing residential development; or promoting downtown living.
Macon-Bibb County and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation(2022), Kunj Construction (2021), Trace Butler (2019), Southern Pines Plantation Commercial Group and Sierra Development (2018), Dot Ridley (2017), Bryan Nichols (2016), Millworks Holdings (2015), Marco (Massimo) Danese (2014), State Bank (2013), Bibb County Commissioners & Bibb County Development Authority (2012), Bryan Nichols (2011), Kevin DuBose (2008), Vern McCarty (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.
Steven Fulbright(2022), Wimberly Treadwell (2021), 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.
Peyton Jeter(2022), DeMarcus Beckham(2022), Christèle Parham (2021), Julia Rubens (2021), 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.
Hotel Forty Five(2022), 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 Emerging Partner Award showcases new individuals or organizations becoming involved in the downtown movement.
Middle Georgia Regional Library (2021), 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)
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.
Stacy Lane(2022), Anna Richards (2021), 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)