The promotions committee of Main Street Steamboat Springs hopes to make the third Thursday of every month stand out from ordinary workdays in Steamboat Springs. And the effort could lead to a merger between the Main Street group and the Downtown Business Association.
Tracy Barnett, who leads the promotions committee, said the intent is to organize downtown businesses to attract residents to visit Yampa and Oak streets as well as Lincoln Avenue on the third Thursday of each month. Her committee members hope to do that by creating a series of small events.
"For example, that third Thursday before Christmas there could be carolers on the street," Barnett said.
If a bookstore is planning a book signing by an author, Main Street will encourage them to schedule it on that Thursday evening. Another possibility is that area artists might partner with individual retailers to create displays or "trunk shows" within the stores.
At first, Main Street Steamboat will be looking for volunteer performers and activities because it has no budget. However, Main Street organizers are working on a financial plan this summer intended to give them some working capital. Their intent is to hire an executive director to move the project forward.
"We don't want this third Thursday to be just another sale," Barnett said. "But if you're going to do something, consider doing it on that third Thursday night."
Ideally, Barnett said, "Third Thursday" events will evolve to build upon the new brand identity Main Street Steamboat Springs is seeking for downtown. The branding effort is being undertaken by a committee led by Towny Anderson.
Although the long-term goal is to make Third Thursdays more than a sales promotion, the very first event will be just that. It is planned for 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 19 to give locals a preview of Sidewalk Sale items scheduled to go on the street the next morning.
Barnett said it is an attempt to recognize that some residents are unable to get the first shot at the best sale merchandise simply because they have to be at work on the opening morning of the annual sale.
The Sidewalk Sale always has been organized by the Downtown Business Association. Ruth Dombrowski, who leads Main Street's economic reorganization committee, said talks are under way to merge the two organizations to avoid duplication of missions.
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