Downtown Sedalia will be offering a new opportunity for citizens to explore the historic area with the launch of Third Thursdays, sponsored by Sedalia Downtown Development Inc.
The new event, which starts today, will keep participating downtown merchants open until 7 p.m. and they will be joined by local musicians and vendors gathered at the Pettis County Courthouse from 5 to 7 p.m.
“The idea began in the (SDDI board’s) promotions committee discussing ways to bring people downtown on a regular basis,” said SDDI Executive Director Meg Liston. “We’ve seen these after-hours events in other downtown communities and wanted to start one up and we thought this was the year. We’ve gotten a lot of positive response and feedback from merchants. We’ll have a lot staying open later, extra vendors and entertainment coming in. We’re excited about it.”
Liston said not only will Third Thursdays offer a new opportunity for citizens to visit downtown, but it will also serve as a way to test merchants having longer hours.
“We’d like to see the retail shops stay open in the evening hours to access people working during the day or leaving the courthouse at 5, they miss the shops that close right at 5,” Liston said. “We’re trying to encourage them to consider staying open late. We think with this once-a-month event we can see how it works and we have a large number of them participating. We’re hoping we have a good response from the community and merchants find it’s a worthwhile thing to stay open late.”
Today’s event has the theme Spring Blooms and Liston said each month will have a different theme. Liston said they’re planning on Classic ’50s for May.
“We have some entertainment already lined up for that,” she said. “We’re looking forward to doing the old theme, maybe getting some old cars and a downtown cruise. Each month we want to do something a little different so it’s not the same old thing, bring in vendors and entertainment that are associated with the theme.”
Today’s participating merchants include Anytime Fitness, Art Impressions Gallery & Framing, Eclectic Color, Fitters Fifth Street Pub, Ivory Grille Restaurant and Lounge, Kay’s Bridal and Tuxedo, Pro Velo Bicycle Shop and Bike Care, Rock ‘n Rollers Hair Studio, The Shepherd’s Place, Swords’ Family Pharmacy and Boutique, Stone Laser Imaging and First Choice Trophies, Studio Vogue, Take 2 Resale Boutique and Wilken Music. The stores will be open until 7 p.m. and will have sidewalk specials and specials inside the store.
Today’s featured vendors include Alex’s Homemade Cookies, Blooming Gardens Greenhouse, KK’s Cupcakes, Midoriworld Designs, Moore’s Greenhouses & Flower Shop, Modest Goats, Ole Glory Creations and Poppin’ & Shakin’ Kettle Corn. Liston said Table of 5 Catering will not be participating today but will have their wood-fired pizza in May. The vendors will be on the west side of the Courthouse on the sidewalk and in the parking spaces between Fourth and Fifth streets on Ohio Avenue.
There will be two musicians providing entertainment: Blues musician Eugene Mad Milo Bozarth, playing in front of the Courthouse, and Travis Demoss will be strolling through downtown playing his guitar.
“(Citizens) should support the downtown,” Liston said of tonight’s event. “We’ve got people really excited about new projects and the streetcape, we’ve got good merchants and great products. It’s an opportunity to see what’s new and see old friends.”
The event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, April through October. For more information, call Liston at 660-827-7388 or search for Sedalia Downtown Development on Facebook.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.