Partnership plans themes for Friday Night Live
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | April 17,2013
Friday Night Live will have a different theme each week this summer.
“What it has turned into is the same thing every week and there’s less reason to come down to it,” said Laura Conti, a marketing staffer for the Downtown Rutland Partnership.
The partnership announced a revamped summer events schedule this week.
The season kicks off May 3, the day before Green Up Day, with an effort to green up downtown. Conti said Green Up Day has not typically focused on downtown, and she was inspired by the way the Vermont Country Store has its employees clean the surrounding area. Downtown employees, she said, can tackle the sidewalks and facades.
“We wanted to organize it statewide,” she said. “There are 24 downtown districts, but we came up with the idea a little late.”
May 4 brings an amateur car show downtown, organized by the Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
The calendar stays quiet until June 21, when the DRP marks the solstice with a circus-themed event.
“We’re still booking it, but I hope to have a little petting zoo — no elephants or anything like that,” she said. “We’ll have clowns and magicians — circus kind of acts.”
The pace picks up in July, starting with a sports-themed event July 12. Conti said the DRP will organize various games and competitions on Center Street.
July 19 will be given over to the arts, with the annual Trash2Art display and live performances, and July 26 will feature local musicians in an “unplugged” night.
On Friday, Aug. 2, and Saturday Aug. 3, is the premier of SummerFest, the event taking the place of the Ethnic Festival and Sidewalk Sales. The new event, Conti said, will feature vendors of food and other products made in Vermont.
“We don’t do Vermont very much in Rutland,” shes aid. “It was a good opportunity to celebrate Vermont. We’re working with a lot of the larger Vermont product-makers. It’ll be the farmers market crowd, but what if we can also get Hubbardton Forge or Simon Pearce?”
Like with the circus, Conti said vendors were still being lined up.
The Killington Classic brings motorcyclists to town Aug. 30.
The final event, planned for a Saturday or Sunday in September, is an “Antiques Roadshow”-style fair where district businesses appraise items brought to Center Street. Conti said the DRP may hold an auction at the end for anyone who wants to sell what they brought.