Downtown Torrington to stay open late starting June 21 for ‘Third Thursdays’
TORRINGTON — The Goshen County Chamber of Commerce is hoping to bring focus to Torrington’s Main Street and Goshen County businesses in its new Third Thursday on Main Street program, starting June 21.
Sandy Hoehn, director of community development at Goshen County Economic Development, said the program came about after Torrington applied to be part of the Wyoming Main Street program. Wyoming Main Street, which seeks to maintain historic main street facades, requires its members to hold downtown activities. Hoehn said that Torrington’s program will be different from most.
“Our main street program is countywide,” she said. “All of our main streets are in it.”
The Torrington Third Thursday program is based on similar programs from across the nation, including several in Wyoming.
“We decided we were going to jump on that bandwagon,” Hoehn said.
Hoehn said the chamber has been considering forming such a program for a few years and had been in talks with Torrington’s downtown merchants about when to enact it.
On the third Thursday of each month, around 3 p.m., the chamber plans to close off a few blocks of Main Street north of the highway and let drivers get out of the way while merchants, both from Torrington and from outside, set up for a street market that opens at 4 p.m. The chamber will hold various activities, live music and food, while the merchants keep their shops open until the market closes at 7 p.m.
“We want people to come downtown and be reacquainted on what our downtown stores are like, what our businesses are like in Goshen County,” Hoehn said.
Keeping businesses open late was particularly important for the chamber.
“The biggest complaint we’ve heard from the community was that, ‘We’d like to go downtown, but as soon as I get off work, they’re closed,’” Hoehn said.
The chamber originally intended to hold the program through the summer, but Hoehn said it was decided to hold the Third Thursdays through the holiday shopping season. To go along with that, each month will have its own theme to match the season. For June, it’s about reconnecting to a hometown feel; in July, the chamber is bringing in a petting zoo and focusing on the upcoming county fair.
She added that the program also lends itself to Wyoming Main Street’s goal of bringing the community together.
“It’s a way to get your community to come downtown, hang out and be a traditional community again,” she said. “Just be neighborly and have a lot of fun activities for everyone. Even if you just want to come sit down and watch.”