Downtown Business Association, residents collaborate on summertime activity

Do It Downtown Thursdays to feature art, sales, entertainment

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— Beginning later this month, Craig’s historic downtown district will undergo a weekly transformation.

Inspired by Downtown Colorado Inc.’s two-day downtown revitalization assessment conducted in March, members of Craig’s Downtown Business Association have collaborated with local artists to develop an event designed to drive more foot traffic to Craig’s core.

Do It Downtown Thursdays begins at 4 p.m. May 30 and will run every Thursday through the end of summer. The event will feature everything from longer business hours, sidewalk sales and dinner specials to local artwork displays and interactive presentations.

“Businesses are planning special events, including cooking demonstrations, a plant exchange and anything else we can come up with,” said Nadine Daszkiewicz, owner of The Kitchen Shop at 577 Yampa Ave. “It’s brand-new, so it’s going to keep evolving through the summer, but I’m excited for it to start. It’s going to be fun.”

In addition to drawing inspiration from the downtown revitalization assessment, Craig photographer Janelle Husband and local potter Roberta Hawks played off the success of the annual Art Walk and Taste of Chocolate to build partnerships between business owners and local artists. So far, 20 businesses have agreed to house works created by local artists.

“Hopefully, it will be a win-win by generating more business downtown and providing local artists with a venue to display and sell their work,” Husband said. “We have a great downtown, and I think there is a lot we can do in Craig to bring people together and encourage them to shop locally.”

Shopping locally also includes Craig’s downtown restaurants, Husband said. Sidewayz, Carelli’s Pizza, The Galaxy Restaurant and Cugino’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant already are on board to provide dinner specials in conjunction with the weekly Thursday event.

The Downtown Business Association didn’t forget about Craig’s home-based business owners either, Hawks said. Sidewalk booths also will be available for $10 per week, $25 per month or $50 for the summer. Booths are available to residents selling products other than homemade or homegrown food products so as not to detract from the Farmers Market, also beginning soon on Thursdays.

“It’s going to be a different entity from the Farmers Market, but we’re hoping this will be mutually beneficial,” Daszkiewicz said.

Do It Downtown Thursdays will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. beginning May 30 in the 400 and 500 blocks of Yampa Avenue and along a couple of blocks on West Victory Way.

Residents who are interested in providing entertainment or hosting an interactive demonstration or who would like more information about artist/business partnerships can call Janelle Husband at 970-629-1843 or Roberta Hawks at 970-629-1307.

Home-based business owners interested in reserving a sidewalk booth can call Pam Foster at 970-824-8244.

All other inquiries about Do It Downtown Thursdays can be directed to Karen Brown at 970-824-7898.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 970-875-1794 or jmoylan@CraigDailyPress.com

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