Third Thursday happening this week, future of event uncertain

Published 9:59 am Tuesday, October 18, 2022


October’s Third Thursday event is happening this Thursday, during which downtown Danville businesses are open late from 5 to 8 p.m.

Email newsletter signup

This week’s events are as follows:

• CentreWorks will offer free Halloween kids activities while parents shop. If grown-ups would like to grab a drink or do some shopping kid-free, CentreWorks will be hosting a free Halloween party from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Children ages 6+ can be dropped off at CentreWorks to enjoy a movie, games, and allergy-friendly cookie decorating.

Maddy Jenkins, CentreWorks Innovation Fellow, said “CentreWorks is designed to build an intentionally inclusive, resilient community through entrepreneurship programs, mentorship for local businesses, and bringing people together around topics that matter to them. In an ever-growing, bustling world, supporting our downtown businesses makes our community more cohesive and resilient. That’s why we, CentreWorks, choose to participate in Third Thursdays. We love this community and want to see our unique downtown become even more vibrant and inclusive.”

• Live Music at Dry Stack – The Barely Shaken String Band will be performing at Dry Stack Roastery.

• Author Event at Centre Bookstore – Kentucky author Harriet Ruby will be at the Centre College Bookstore to share (and sign!) her new book “Little Graves.” Learn some chilling Kentucky history and support a local author!

• Sales and Promos at Downtown Shops – Derby Shoppe and Raggs is hosting their “Moonlight Sale” with discounts up to 75% off. Plaid Elephant Books is hosting a “Load the Tote” sale with discounts on anything that can fit into their newly-launched canvas shopping totes.

Since the Heart of Danville, which started the event, is closing down at the end of this year, the future of the event is uncertain. The Heart helped promote the event and sent information through email blasts. Now, promotion and coordination is up to the businesses.

Downtown business owner Kate Snyder, who owns Plaid Elephant Bookstore, said that she and other business owners want to keep Third Thursdays going. Snyder is part of the Heart of Danville’s promotions committee, which is made up of business owners and community volunteers that coordinated this and other downtown events.

“In speaking with the other downtown businesses, it was definitely something we wanted to continue because we did feel like it was gaining some traction,” Snyder said.

Snyder said the Heart of Danville is unable to promote this month’s event, as they are busy closing out the organization. Business owners and the promotions committee have coordinated it this month, but have no central spot for information, and no way of sending email blasts. Currently, there’s no organization to take responsibility for promoting, requesting food trucks, or requesting to activate the entertainment district.

The entertainment district allows people to take an alcoholic drink purchased from a licensed establishment outside in a certain area while walking around or sitting in a park. With no one to request it, the City of Danville has to take initiative to activate the district. Snyder has not heard from the city whether they will activate it.

Snyder hopes that the city will take over the event in some way, possibly through the new community liaison, or a department like Parks and Recreation.

“I think Third Thursdays will continue, it’s just a matter of what it looks like,” Snyder said.

Since the first event in April, Snyder said attendance has been steady and has grown over the six months. She saw plenty of new people in addition to routine customers.

“I always have a decent number of customers come; it’s always been worth my while to stay open that extra time on those third Thursdays,” Snyder said. “I always love to be able to have more reasons for people to come downtown, and it was really about building that habit of coming and shopping a little bit later as sort of an ongoing routine rather than it being a one-off event.”

In recent months, however, construction on downtown sidewalks has negatively impacted attendance, due to less parking and less mobility on sidewalks.

“Even though they’ve done a really good job of keeping the sidewalks accessible, there’s still, I think, a mental block when people see construction, it feels like things are inaccessible even if they aren’t, and perception is everything,” Snyder said.

Food trucks are also unable to park on Main Street because of construction. This week’s event will not have food trucks.

Snyder said there will be a Third Thursday in November; it will be the downtown Holiday Open House, a kickoff to the holiday shopping season. In December, downtown businesses plan to be open late every Thursday for holiday shoppers.

The event may continue through the winter, possibly with more indoor events or holiday clearance sales in January. Snyder said people are currently trying to figure out what Third Thursdays will look like without the Heart.

Businesses that are open late this Thursday are:

Eat & Drink:

Bluegrass Pizza & Pub, Boogie Knight’s, Bricks and Brews, Copper & Oak, Dry Stack Coffee, Gypsy Run Brewery, Harvey’s, La Cosa Nostra, and Tut’s.

Retail & Service:

A & L Accessories, Anderson’s Boutique, Bran’s Boutique, Carol’s Bridal & Gifts, CAMP, LLC, Centre Bookstore, CentreWorks, Cerci on Main, Derby Shoppe and Raggs, Front Porch CBD Cafe, Hearth and Easel, Maple Tree Gallery, Plaid Elephant Books, and The Studio.