For the third installment of the Downtown Thursdays series, the events will be held May 6 through Aug. 26 from 5 to 8 p.m. The July 8 event will be cancelled due to preparations for the Brentwood CornFest, which will take place along First Street this year due to city park’s closure during civic center construction.
This year’s Downtown Thursdays will feature new events, including monthly food and wine festivals, a home and garden show, a children’s art show and a back-to-school movie night. In keeping with tradition, car shows will be held monthly, and Brentwood Idol is returning for its second year. This time around, however, participants will need to audition in a qualifying round on June 10 to make it to the finals competition on June 24.
As always, the Downtown Thursdays events will feature vendor booths lining First Street, but this year, the booths will extend down Chestnut Street to give local vendors more opportunities to share their services and products.
Annette Beckstrand, owner of His & Her Formal Wear and a Downtown Brentwood Coalition member, said local vendors are a critical element of the Downtown Thursdays events. “You’ll find things here that you won’t see anywhere else. Residents are sharing their talents with the community, so we’ll have people who make unique homemade creations that you can’t find at any of the big-name stores.”
Downtown Thursdays is also an extension of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce’s campaign to encourage residents to support Brentwood’s small businesses by shopping locally, but the storeowners aren’t the only ones who benefit. When people spend money at local stores, a portion of the sales tax goes back to the city in which it was spent, so Beckstrand encourages Brentwood residents to shop in Brentwood and reap the rewards.
“The Downtown Thursdays is a weekly celebration to draw people downtown,” Beckstrand said. “A lot of people don’t even know that we have a new restaurant (The Game) downtown, so we want people to know what’s going on. There’s a lot to do downtown. People say downtowns are drying up in light of the changes in the economy, but not in Brentwood. We’re thriving. There are wonderful places to eat and shop. It’s a good place to be.”
Downtown Thursdays will kick off with a car show next Thursday. Beckstrand said more than 40 people have signed up to display their vehicles, but as the festival expansion to Chestnut Street will provide more space, there’s room for more. Those who wish to participate in car shows or events such as Brentwood Idol may sign up at www.brentwooddowntown.com.
The following week, the Downtown Brentwood Coalition will host a Cherry Jubilee to celebrate the incoming cherry harvest. As part of the festivities, residents will be able to face off in a baking competition to see who has the most “cherry imagination.”
The contest will feature four categories: Salads/Appetizers, Bread/Parties, Main Dish and Dessert. All entries must feature cherries. Applications to enter the contest are available at the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce offices, 8440 Brentwood Blvd., Suite C. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11.
For a full list of upcoming Downtown Thursdays events, join the Downtown Brentwood fan page on Facebook. For more information, call Lyle Miller at the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce at 925-634-3344.