A piano left out on the sidewalk for any passersby to stop and tickle the ivories. Doodles of cartoon characters on the pavement. Some extra time to check out your favorite shop once you get off work.
If these are things you and your family enjoy, Yampa Avenue is the place to be on a certain day of the week.
Slowly but surely, the Do It Downtown initiative is gaining momentum for the businesses of downtown Craig. Running from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday afternoons, the weekly event is an opportunity for Craig residents to get out and about, patronize locally owned stores and engage in a variety of activities.
Organizer Nadine Daszkiewicz said business owners have made efforts to bring in local artists of all different types to show off their wares as part of the venture. For instance, she’s displayed the work of basket-weaver Suzi Kull in her store, The Kitchen Shop.
Downtown Books owner Terry Carwile said he has used Do It Downtown to showcase artworks like his own photography and ceramics creations by David Morris, both of which draw the eyes of patrons who come in during the later hours on Thursdays.
“I think it’s been worth our time to stay open that extra hour,” he said. “There’s definitely been more activity downtown, at least that’s my impression.”
Groups like the Parrotheads and the Craig Photography Club have also provided activities, and several local musicians have played for the crowds.
Turnout has been somewhat smaller than anticipated in its first few weeks, but those who do come are regular participants. Daszkiewicz said the difficulty of getting people to come out for Do It Downtown has been a matter of raising awareness about it.
“The point is to get families downtown doing something that’s fun,” she said. “If they should happen to come into the stores and shop, so much the better.”
She added that having the already established farmers market downtown Thursday afternoons helps the process.
“I think it really adds to it,” she said. “It takes it and spreads it up and down the block.”
Daszkiewicz said one of the main things organizers need is input from the community on what other types of entertainment would be more likely to attract them.
“We’re always looking for suggestions,” she said.
Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.