The Madras First Thursday event has more vendors, engagement, people and economic impact.
“This year, we have had a huge increase in vendors,” said Downtown Business Board member and vendor coordinator Whitney Bell. “So much so that we have vendors on C and D Street. So C Street is kind of our kid’s corner.”
This week’s event was the third First Thursday in Madras and things were booming.
“So, it’s kind of like our little event is up and coming in our town, which makes us all happy because we want to increase the foot traffic in our downtown area and increase our economy in Madras,” Bell said.
They had bouncy houses, reptiles, live music, drinks and food. A place for all businesses, whether an established store or one just starting out.
“This is my first summer being open, and I just had so much fun doing it, and Madras just knows how to throw a First Thursday, carnival, street fair,” said wine shop owner Rachel Bare.
There is no age limit. Ask 10-year-old Amanda Smucker, maker of baked goods and spin art.
“I made most of the things on here besides the candles,” Smucker said. “My mom made the candles. Just flip this switch, put a paper in here, and put paint in it.”
As fun and creative as this event might be, First Thursday is accomplishing several goals.
“It’s a way to get your name out there, and if you are not a traditional brick and mortar business. It’s just a really great way to interact with the community, get your name out there and just show like your talents, what you do, whether you are crafty, sell wine or food,” Bare said. “Just a really great way to promote.”
Bell says there aren’t very many cohesive events like this in the community, something she hopes to change.
“We are quite a mixed community with different cultures and different backgrounds, and the First Thursday is something that brings everybody together,” Bell said. “So it is nice to have this event that can perpetuate other events and more engagement between our community.”