Willimantic’s 3rd Thursday Street Festivals are back, just in time to enjoy the warmth of Spring. What better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than to walk downtown and meet up with your friends? You can expect to see 8,000 people smiling and laughing and shopping and eating in the streets. And there’s lots of great entertainment planned for May 16th. So bring the kids downtown, or just hop on the bike and enjoy a ride through scenic Eastern CT, ending in Willimantic.
What kind of music do you like? We’ve got it: From Bluesy Rock with JOSI DAVIS and her Most Excellent Band, to World/Trance/Fusion with Cosmal and everything in between. Traveler will have some special guests that you know and love: Chris Andrews, Roger Glidden and Doug Lang. Or, for a quieter set, listen to Kevin White playing guitar and piano Uptown. The Wild Bill Project will have you dancing in the beer and wine garden, after El Cacique,a Latin Jazz band from Hartford.
Local talent is always featured and this month ACT Performing Arts Magnet High School’s dance majors will perform a variety of short pieces, Postive Steps will also perform a dance, and of course YOU can perform at the Windham Idol contest first round of auditions. For a quiet respite for the youngest children, stop in People’s Park, near Walnut Street, where Johnnie will entertain you. And by popular demand, we’ll have Dee Jai Jai for some street dancing on Bank Street at 7:30.
Be prepared to sweat a little, because you can’t help dancing in the streets in Willimantic! Quench that thirst with a Hosmer Mountain Soda or birch beer float or Willibrew’s refreshing micro-brewed beer. Proceeds from the sales of soda, beer and wine are used to fund the festivals and help to bring us that great entertainment.
Between the downtown restaurants and the food vendors, Willimantic offers an amazing assortment of authentic ethnic cuisines: Mexican, Irish, Syrian, Indian, Puerto Rican, Italian, American and Thai foods. Now that’s diversity! Yes, there’s pizza and foot-long hotdogs, too, for traditionalists. But this year, you really have to save room for dessert: Delicious caramel and chocolate covered apples at Lady C’s; cupcakes and home-made ice cream. And the “bad” stuff, too: fried dough, cotton candy, kettle corn and donuts. Indulge.
Shoppers can browse at over 50 local and regional vendors that showcase a wealth of unique goods. Handmade jewelry, body arts, bags, home improvements…plan on shopping for yourself and for gifts. You’re sure to find that one-of-a-kind gift for that one-of-a-kind person at our downtown merchants. Where is Lady C’s, you ask? Uptown, and May 16th is their Grand Opening!
All this is packed into 3 hours on a Thursday night. You won’t want to miss a minute of the fun: May 16th from 6-9 pm. The Festival and Parking are Free. For info: 860.450.0918, but it’s all at: www.WillimanticStreetFest.com
CONTACT: Jean de Smet (860) 456-2188, info@WillimanticStreetFest.com, 39 Davis St., Willimantic, CT 06226