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Downtown Danville the place to be Saturday

Downtown Danville will be “jumping” with all sorts of activities from morning until night on Saturday. The most unusual event will be the addition of a temporary tiny park, set up in two parking spaces in downtown.

“We don’t rest on our laurels in this community,” said Heart of Danville board member Kate Snyder during a recent HOD board meeting. “So the next big adventure is, we are having a pop-up park in front of the mural on May 18.”

Snyder said they will begin setting the park up Friday evening and resume early Saturday, but it should be ready to go by 9 a.m.

“Pop-up parks are an established thing in other communities. You can kind of trace the origins to San Francisco,” Snyder said.

Danville’s “parklet” will be set up in front of the colorful mural painted by Andee Rudloff on the side of Raggs and the Derby Shoppe on Third Street in two parking spaces provided by Chase Bank.

Artificial grass will be rolled out and pots of flowers and plants will be placed along the edges, Snyder said. One section will be a “family fun lawn” set up with a corn hole game, a giant Jenga, lawn dice and bubbles.

The other side will be a “writer’s garden,” where two cafe tables with typewriters will be set up, Snyder said. She encourages anyone to stop by and write a few sentences, perhaps even create a community story where everybody can write a line of the story on the typewriter.

Adam Haigh will be creating hand-blown glass water bowls for a dog watering station, Snyder said.

His wife, Elizabeth Haigh, is “inventing a Danville dance that’s going to be called ‘The Title Town Two Step.’ Washable chalk-drawn footsteps will show what dance moves to make,” Snyder said.

“It’s a novelty. You come and check it out and you keep going. I don’t think people will spend hours hanging out in the park. You toss a couple of corn hole, you blow some bubbles. You take a picture.”

“We’re super excited,” Snyder said about putting the park together. “It’s like, crazy fun. It’s costing us nothing. Everything so far has been donated.”

If people ask why the HOD is putting up a pop-up park, “The answer is that it’s fun. It’s cool. It’s downtown. Pop-up parks are an act of pre-visioning. It gives us a chance for us to re-imagine what our community might look like if we really focused on people-centered programing,” Snyder said.

The Heart’s interim executive director Dustin Duvall said, “Weekends like this one continue to show that downtown is alive and well.”

The first Main Street Live concert of the season is set for Thursday, May 23, and will feature the band Powerplay. Admission is free. There will also be several artists set up in the first Maker’s Market during the MSL event.

The pop-up park will coincide with several other downtown events going on Saturday.

• The Garden Club of Danville’s garden tour will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Snyder hopes some of the ticket-holders will stop by the pop-up park just for fun. In celebration of Preservation Month in May, the Heart also researched the historic homes on the tour and produced individual posters that briefly describe each home’s history; the posters will be set up at each location on the tour. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the tour and may be purchased from club members, at The Derby Shoppe or at Maple Tree Gallery.

On Saturday, tickets may be purchased at Constitution Square or at any of the gardens on the tour.

• The kickoff for the Jeanne Penn Lane Celebration of Kentucky Writers is being held from noon to 5 p.m. at the Boyle County Public Library. That’s why they planned a writer’s garden in the parklet, Snyder said.

• The Boyle County Farmers Market will be open at Constitution Square from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday.

• The Heart’s first Lawn Chair Theater of the season will also be in Constitution Square park that evening beginning at 6 p.m. The movie will be “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” Admission is free; the event is sponsored by Bluegrass and Buttercream, which will be selling milk and cookies. The heart will be selling popcorn and drinks for $1 and all proceeds will go back into downtown revitalization.

• “Moon Over Buffalo” will be performed at West T. Hill Community Theatre at 8 p.m.

• Centre College graduation weekend begins. Activities for graduates and their families will take place all day Saturday and will end with a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

Snyder said, “So boy, talk about Danville is just jumping that day. That is what I love. For me, place making is about loving where you live, and so that is the goal of all of this is to say, ‘Man, I love living in Danville.’”