With nice weather on the horizon, organizers of Benton’s Third Thursday after-hours event are hoping this month’s celebration will go off without a hitch.

Created by organizer Lyndsey Taylor, the street event will feature live music, games, food and drinks in an effort to promote the Downtown Benton area.

“A few business owners and myself got together and decided it would be fun to stay open late and serve some drinks to late-night shoppers,” Taylor said. “Just trying to grow our community and get it with the times.”

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the event will include free entertainment and games for the entire family, including Rock Town Mobile Lazer Tag and Natural State Escape Rooms, along with Wiffle Ball and Baggo tournaments.

“Hopefully we’ll end up shutting down all the streets down here because they’ll be full of people shopping and enjoying our town,” Taylor said. “Obviously, generating more revenue is most important for us small shop owners.”

Shops staying open late include Main Street Station, Lavish on Main, The Loft, Urban Emage Apparel and Accessories, Two Sisters, The Shop, Stated Apparel, SoCo, This Little Piggy, Sparks, The Oil Shop, Salt Soap, Lillian Trails, The Royal Theatre, the City of Benton Farmers Market, Three Kings Tattoo, Southern Roots and Relics.

Stores are expected to stay open until at least 8:30 p.m. for shoppers to take advantage of the event.

The hope is that while people are Downtown enjoying the event that they will discover some of the new shops in the area and also reacquaint themselves with some of their familiar favorites.

Live music will give shoppers a treat as they explore the area. Jesse Dean will be performing at Main Street Station and Joey Handley will be performing at the City of Benton Farmers Market.

Food trucks that will be set up Downtown for the event include Kona Ice, Riverside Grocery and Catering and Mom’s Kitchen.

Taylor said that it is her hope that people will visit the Downtown area to create an atmosphere and help grow the small businesses in the area. She got the idea after seeing the success of other regularly held downtown area events across the state.

The event is being sponsored by McLarty Nissan of Benton.

For more information regarding the event, visit the Third Thursday Benton’s Late Night on Facebook, @shopdowntownbenton on Instagram or www.shopdowntownbenton.com.

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