Heart of Danville kicks off Third Thursdays; businesses to stay open late for monthly event

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Heart of Danville is launching a new monthly event on April 21. The “Third Thursdays” event will be held, as the name suggests, on the third Thursday of each month from 5 pm to 8 pm.

“Sometimes people just need a little encouragement to shift into a downtown mindset,” says Heart of Danville Executive Director Mary Conley. “Downtown Danville has so much to offer – from great restaurants to plazas and green spaces to unique retail and our fabulous Art Center. There’s really something for everyone.”

Most downtown businesses will stay open until 8pm on Third Thursdays, encouraging evening shopping. To further entice shoppers into the historic district, the Heart of Danville is running a “Shop Three/Win $30” giveaway. Anyone who spends money at three downtown establishments during Third Thursdays can email a picture of their receipts to the Heart of Danville and be entered in a drawing to win $30 in Downtown Dollars – special gift certificates administered by the Heart of Danville and redeemable at participating downtown businesses.

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Two food trucks will be setting up shop downtown on April 21, augmenting the dining options always available downtown. Captain Frank’s Hotdog Emporium will be parked on Third Street, while Hillbilly Brewin’ Que will be on Main Street, near Cerci on Main. Harvey’s, Bluegrass Pizza & Pub, Boogie Knight’s, Copper & Oak, Dry Stack Coffee, and The Hub Coffee House and Cafe will all be open as well.

The Heart of Danville also hopes the event will promote cooperation and synergy with other community organizations and entities. The April 21 event coincides with the Yo-Yo Ma performance at the Norton Center. “Folks will be coming to Danville for this event anyway,” explains Conley. “Why not show them the best that Danville has to offer? Visitors and local alike can grab dinner and do a little shopping downtown before heading over to the show.”

Other businesses are making efforts to schedule events to coincide with Third Thursdays. Francine Southerland, owner of Wilderness Yoga Shala, is hosting a 5:30pm yoga flow class on April 21. “A yoga class can be the first stop on a night out,” says Southerland. “Stretch and relax your body, then grab a bite to eat, and do a bit of shopping downtown.”

Another community organization, CentreWorks, is hosting a Night Owl Art Gallery from 6pm to 8:30pm on April 21. The event is an opportunity for college and high school students to display and sell their art to the community. Students interested in participating should contact Sarah Foropoulos at sarah.foropoulos@centre.edu.

Conley says she sees plenty of opportunities for the Third Thursdays event to grow over time. “I’d love to see a pop-up farmers market, live music, events for families. Really, there’s no limit to the good ideas out there!” As the only paid employee of the Heart of Danville, Conley stresses the role of volunteers in planning and running events like Third Thursdays. “We can always use more willing helpers,” says Conley. Interested volunteers can contact Conley at director@downtowndanville.com

Participating Downtown Businesses (as of April 6).

A & L Accessories, Art Center of the Bluegrass, Dry Stack Coffee, The Hub Coffee House and Café, Maple Tree Gallery, Plaid Elephant Books, Boogie Knight’s, Centre College Bookstore, Cerci on Main, CAMP LLC, Derby Shoppe and Raggs, Anderson’s Lifestyle Boutique, Bran’s Boutique, CentreWorks, Wilderness Yoga Shala, Captain Frank’s Hotdog Emporium, Hillbilly Brewin’ Que, Harvey’s, Copper & Oak, Bluegrass Pizza & Pub, Hearth and Easel, Gypsy Run Brewery