News Column

13 a lucky number for 3rd Thursday Street Fests

May 14, 2014

By Heather Lake, The Chronicle, Willimantic, Conn.

May 14--WILLIMANTIC -- Thirteen years after Willimantic 3rd Thursday Street Festivals began, the popular local warm-weather tradition is still going strong.

Approximately 6,000 people are expected to converge on Main Street from Willimantic and beyond strolling from one end to the other from one music venue, myriad vendors and food stations.

As always, the event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and parking is available at Jillson Square.

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Month the first 100 teachers can get a free 3rd Thursday buttons at the events information booth, which entitles them to a 20 percent discount on beer and wine for the season.

New this year is a theme-centered season, which will be the focus of the event for the month.

For example, May's theme will be "Urban Hip Hop" and June's theme is "Children's Activities."

All events at the festival are free and draw crowds of all ages who use it as an excuse to meet up with friends and family and enjoy the mild weather.

Dogs, however, are cordially invited to stay home given the large crowds.

An array of ethnic cuisine's can be found throughout the festival area and include Mexican, Thai, Syrian, Indian, Puerto Rican, Italian as well as good old American munchies.

Many of the food vendors are local, representing an ever-growing wide array of restaurants to satisfy even the most discriminating palettes. The options are endless and the choice is hard.

Based on past seasons people can expect longer lines in some places than others, with Empanadas and falafel often the go-to for many fairgoers.

In all more than 40 local and regional vendors are signed up for the event's seasonal debut.

Ready for perusing and purchasing are handmade jewelry, body arts, candles, home improvements -- something for oneself or a special gift for someone else.

The talented, and not- so- talented but equally entertaining, can get their shot at local fame by entering the Windham Idol competition.

Among the Connecticut-based acts expected to perform this season are The RapOet for poetry, THE FLYS!, Erik Lamb, N.M.E., Dalton Ross Music and Joey Batts & Them.

Students from the Arts at the Capitol Theater, located on Main Street, will also be providing entertainment in the area of Walnut Street.

With quick jaunt over the footbridge, visitors can put on their dancing shoes and join the Capitol Theater Arts Academy line.

For more information, visit www.WillimanticStreetFest. com.


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Source: Chronicle, The (Willimantic, CT)

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