By Kayla Ross
The City of Hope recently held their second 4th ThursDAY Slip Away, an event where downtown businesses and the Farmers Market of Hope stay open late to create an exciting downtown experience in the evening.
For this month, the theme was Ladies Night Out, which featured multiple gift basket giveaways, refreshments, and a refreshing shopping experience for citizens that participated. There were also free license plates available for anyone that wanted one.
Although it was only the second time for Hope to do this event, a lot of businesses are benefiting from it and spoke highly of how well it is helping revitalize the downtown area of Hope.
According to Barbara, owner of Elm Street Marketplace, the event is creating a positive atmosphere for downtown.
“Businesses are putting in a lot of effort to make it fun for everybody and the turnout has been great. We’re getting a lot of feedback from people and they really enjoy it.”
A few doors down at LaGrone Williams Hardware, Peggy Williams and Liz Woll were busy helping customers that came by that evening.
For Liz, she enjoys the sense of community the event has created.
“I appreciate becoming a bigger part of the community. I was out cleaning the front and someone just walked by and said hello to me. They knew my name and just knew me. It’s a better relationship with the community and I really love having that.”
Peggy Williams agreed with Liz and added to it, “Anything to help downtown is what we want to do. It helps us grow and the community, and we just end up working as a big team.”
One of the things Peggy hopes to see in the future is the continued push towards getting the word out there that the event is going on each month.
Just across the road from LaGrone was a bustling Farmers Market. During the event, the Farmers Market had multiple booths and even a small yoga session, along with tons of refreshments for visitors.
Behind the refreshments booth was Jodi Coffee, who had a lot to be happy about that evening.
“We were fortunate enough that our Independence Day celebration happened to land on the same day as the Slip Away. We’re also very fortunate to have our largest turnout of vendors today! This event has created a buzz around town and it’s really gotten people out downtown. I hope that the community continues to support by shopping local and buying fresh, and this event gives citizens that opportunity to show their support.”
A few blocks away, Tailgaters was also participating in the Slip Away. At the restaurant, they offered a cool place to grab a bite and drink to replenish those walking around downtown. Sharon was there and talked about how highly she though of the event.
“It is a fantastic event that’s getting people out and about, and everyone benefits from it! It’s a fabulous idea and last month’s went so well, it was a great first impression. A lot of people are involved and it’s only going to get bigger and bigger, especially in the fall when it gets a little cooler.”
All of these locations had only positive things to say about the event, and all were participants of both times it has happened. Unlike the others, One | 24 was experiencing their first Slip Away.
Terra Butler of One | 24 was excited about their first time participating in the event.
“It’s such a good way to bring the community together and shop local, especially with the Farmers Market being part of it. We need to have things geared towards the younger crowd, and offering themes and events like this is a neat idea to let them and everyone else know that there are special things to do in Hope. Downtown Hope is growing, like the community, and we just wanted to be part of that and help any way we can. We really look forward to the upcoming months so we can see just how much the event grows along with the support of businesses, the city, and the community.”
Downtown is progressing towards a place that is truly the living room of the city – where citizens, visitors, and all those in between can experience Hope and understand what makes this city unique. It’s an event that is benefiting everyone and proving to be a great to connect everyone.
The event will occur every 4th Thursday of the month, so be sure to head out there next month so you won’t miss this amazing opportunity to show your support and shop local!