Downtown Milford is literally springing back to life with its monthly 3rd Thursday event.
The event is held every third Thursday of each month to promote shopping at the small businesses in the downtown riverwalk area. Like much of everything last year, 3rd Thursday was shut down due to the pandemic.
The event roared back to life with a solid turn-out of people shopping, grabbing a bite to eat, and catching up with friends and acquaintances. With two blocks of South Walnut Street closed off, there was plenty of room to congregate while practicing social distance.
“It’s been great for us so far,” says Lisa Marino, store manager at Blooming Boutiques. “This is one of the better ones compared to past events because people want to get out. There are more food options this year as well”.
Food trucks from The Big Salami, Curbside Grill & Catering, Chesapeake Bay Seafood, and Top Five BBQ offered several food options. In addition, the new location for La Hacienda is open for business, which was packed as full as state regulations would allow due to the pandemic.
But for the small shops and galleries, the event shows Milford is open for business once again. Many of the businesses like Blooming Boutiques were hit hard with forced closures and restrictions. Marino says the increase in foot traffic for the event is welcoming sediment made by many of the area businesses.
Other shops, like Good News Natural Foods, remained open at limited capacity due to its essential business tag. Manager Jacqueline Heldorfer says 3rd Thursday gets the word out that they’re here.
“We slowed down at the beginning of the pandemic with curbside pick-up, but we’re open back up with shorter hours,” Heldorfer says. “This is my first time experiencing [3rd Thursday]. Been good and definitely busier.”
Red Bandana, the local comic store next door, was also bustling with customers buying comics and cards. Vintage toys catching the attention of browsing customers and memories of a time before masks. North Pole Creamery, open right next door, provided the quintessential treat which followed a blast from the past nostalgic rush.
Delaware Division of Public Health was also at the event, handing out information on the six COVID-19 vaccine locations in Milford. Officials say they plan to set up a vaccination station at June’s even, holding off on today’s event in case turnout was low.
As for the turnout, Downtown Milford officials were pleased with the excitement surrounding 3rd Thursday’s return. They are hopeful that more people will show up to shop downtown Milford as the word gets out that the popular event is back. More information on the event and list of venues can be viewed at http://downtownmilford.org/
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