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Downtown prepares for holiday shopping with Main Street Live
downtown merchant alliance pic - main st live
Christina Silveira searches for deals at the Farm House Barn Sale during the End of Summer Sale hosted by the Downtown Turlock Merchant Alliance. The alliance has banded together to provide community events, such as the End of Summer Sale and Main Street Live on Oct. 20. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

Local businesses are inviting the community to welcome fall and get ready for the holiday months with Main Street Live – a night filled with live entertainment, shopping and fine dining on the streets of Downtown Turlock.

Candace Gonsalves of Farm House and Hillary Smith of La Mo – both members of the new Downtown Turlock Merchant Alliance – came up with Main Street Live as a way to liven up the downtown area on Thursday nights.

“We heard over and over that people wanted to be downtown on Thursday nights,” said Gonsalves. “This event is a way to shed light on downtown and bring people down on a day other than Saturday.”

The upcoming Main Street Live event will hopefully build momentum for the upcoming holiday shopping season, said Gonsalves, who added that downtown businesses will begin keeping their doors open later on Thursdays to provide more opportunities for residents to shop for Christmas.

In order to draw residents downtown, many of the businesses and restaurants along Main Street will be providing some type of entertainment, whether it be live performances from bands or open mic night at La Mo Café. At the previous Main Street Live event on Sept. 22, on-the-spot dance lessons were available and passers-by were able to enjoy a performance by retired newspaper editor Bob Crawford outside of Main Street Footers.

“There’s all this great local talent, and it shows people that there is still life downtown,” said Gonsalves.

During the approaching Main Street Live event, an acoustic band will be hosted on the 300 block of Main Street, as well as a henna artist. Countless downtown businesses will offer fun for the community, including skeleton bracelet making at Shop Joy Dravecky, a paint class at Café Rome, a craft table at Vintage Market and the 5th Annual Fall Artisan Faire, hosted by La Mo. Many of the downtown merchants will also be offering sales.

Though the event is about entertainment, there is also a focus on charity. During the last event, the Westside Ministries hip hop dance team performed outside of Carr’s Cleaners and encouraged community members to donate jackets to those in need. The group will be accepting coat donations at the next event as well.

 The upcoming Main Street Live will spotlight Jessica’s House, as November is Children’s Grief Awareness Month. The grief support center will be providing art projects for children outside of Farm House, and will also be selling Children’s Grief Awareness T-shirts and “butterflies” to raise funds for the organization.

The Turlock Fire Department will be raising money for breast cancer awareness in front of Crivelli’s Shirts and More through the sale of their pink T-shirts, and Gonsalves said that it’s possible the department will bring along a fire engine to park in the Charity Thrift Store parking lot.

Beginning in November, Main Street Live will take place every evening. DTMA plans to continue Main Street Live through the New Year, and Gonsalves emphasized the importance of connecting downtown businesses with the surrounding community.

“We definitely love the community and want to give back,” said Gonsalves. “We know there are other options when it comes to shopping, and their support means so much to us so we want to try and do something fun downtown and see the street filled with families again.”

Main Street Live will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 20 in downtown Turlock.