Third Thursdays returns to downtown Danville

Published 1:11 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023


Monthly shopping event features Kentucky ‘makers’ while celebrating small businesses in Danville, residents and visitors will find downtown bustling on the third Thursday of each month this spring and summer, thanks to the return of the popular shopping event – “Third Thursdays.”

Third Thursdays was launched in 2022 by the Heart of Danville as a promotion to encourage people to be intentional about supporting downtown businesses. This year, a group of business owners stepped forward to keep the event going in the absence of the Heart, which closed last year.

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“This year, the focus of Third Thursdays is all about collaboration,” said Kate Snyder, owner of Plaid Elephant Books and one of the Third Thursday organizers. The downtown retail stores will be staying open until 8 p.m., as they did last year, but this year many of those shops are also hosting pop-ups within their stores, sharing space with artists, farmers, bakers, and authors who do not have permanent storefronts downtown. Nearly a dozen vendors will be popping up for the first Third Thursday event on April 20.

The ‘Kentucky Maker Spotlight’ aspect of Third Thursdays was made possible by the involvement of the Boyle County Farmers Market. Jessica Merrick of Shooting Star Farms was one of the first farmers to embrace the idea. She says that the Third Thursday pop-up collaboration allows the Farmer’s Market vendors an opportunity to meet new faces.

“It’s also a great one-on-one conversation platform,” said Merrick. “We love sharing about our farms and businesses and a connection to new Boyle Countians and Main Street businesses is a good thing.  I’m excited to be setting up at Maple Tree Gallery and am really looking forward to making new connections and catching up with my Boyle County Market folks.”

Thanks to the support of the Boyle County Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Danville Entertainment District will be activated for Third Thursdays, allowing shoppers to take their drinks with them while they enjoy downtown. Snyder says that she hopes people will grab a bite to eat or a drink while they’re downtown, in addition to visiting the retail shops.

“The purpose of Third Thursdays is expressly about supporting the small businesses in our community,” she said. “Both the brick and mortar stores and restaurants that are the heart of downtown and the growers, makers, and artists who keep the farmers market vibrant.”

In addition to the pop-ups, some stores will be offering special sales and promotions for Third Thursdays. Snyder says that Plaid Elephant Books will be hosting their popular “load a tote” sale.

Shoppers can purchase a reusable tote bag for $10, then receive 15% off whatever they can fit in the bag.

Snyder says she sees lots of room for growth of Third Thursdays, as the Main Street streetscape plan concludes this summer. “This sort of event is exactly what the new design for downtown is meant to support,” she said. “The wider sidewalks, the outdoor dining, the new landscaping – all of it is intended to make downtown an inviting destination. The downtown businesses are excited to be part of extending that welcome!”

Pop-Up Locations

Main Street: The Catered Dog (gourmet hot dogs) will be hosting Jamie Lee’s Tees (tie-dye clothing).

Cerci on Main (gift and clothing boutique) will be hosting King’s Creations KY (jewelry).

Maple Tree Gallery (art gallery and gift boutique) will be hosting Shooting Star Farm (produce, herbs, candles, soap, and more)

Dry Stack Coffee will be hosting Soul Mama Herbs (teas, tinctures, skincare, and more!), Margaret Levi (handmade jewelry), and Good Thyme Family Farm (herbs, produce, and beeswax lip balm)

Third Street: Plaid Elephant Books  will be hosting two Kentucky authors: Jessica Bowman with Little Wildflower Books and Ethan Goodrum, author of "The Night Derby” as well as Lemons & Lavender (youth-run homemade baked goods).

The Derby Shoppe (clothing) will be hosting A Perfect Cookie (specialty macaroons) and Village Bread.

Also on Third Street is the shopping boutique CAMP, LLC and Front Porch CBD, both of which will be open during Third Thursdays.