A downtown hotspot
New group launching Tuesday entertainment on Austin Main Street
Kiersten Hall is excited about the future of entertainment in Austin.
In less than 24 hours, Hall and the month-old Austin Downtown Alliance will launch Tuesdays on Main, a weekly summer party featuring music, contests, dozens of vendors, and other entertainment mirroring Rochester’s Thursdays on First. The first Tuesdays on Main, themed “Austin goes Hawaiian,” will include about 30 vendors with some from Thursdays on First, pick-up volleyball, a disc jockey, jugglers, street performers, Captain Kirby’s train rides for children, and $100 in Austin Chamber of Commerce bucks for the best Hawaiian costumes and hula hoop contest winners. The group is also encouraging more vendors to sign up, and local acoustic artists to show up and play.
“We need to get back to the original Facebook: knowing our neighbors,” Hall said. “We’re hoping to make this grow, and make it into an Austin tradition.”
Tuesdays on Main — located on the four blocks of Main Street between Fourth Avenue and Oakland — won’t close the street, but will have entertainment along those four blocks, in the greenspace east of Main Street and Third Avenue, and in the Mower County parking lot that used to be First Street NE.
“Closing streets tends to hurt businesses,” said Naomi Thompson, an Austin Downtown Alliance board member. “Our goal is to bring additional business to Main Street.”
Tuesdays on Main doesn’t have a liquor license, but Hall and Thompson said attendees are encouraged to visit downtown businesses as they eat, drink and enjoy the entertainment. They said Piggy Blues BBQ, at 323 N Main St., will even have a hog roast outside its restaurant.
While Tuesdays on Main is the flagship project for the Austin Downtown Alliance, it won’t be the only business for the group. The ADTA board — which is made up of eight Austin business owners, managers or residents — is hoping to create year-round entertainment, including a Halloween festival, a partnership with the Austin Festival of Lights at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground and much more.
“It’s about getting people our of the house with family-oriented entertainment,” Hall said.
The board meets on the second and fourth Monday every month at 6 p.m. The board also holds a public forum at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday each month.
TUESDAYS on MAIN
What: A weekly downtown party featuring dozens of vendors, games, music, performers, contests and prizes
Where: Main Street from Fourth Avenue to Oakland Avenue
When: 3 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday from July 10 through Sept. 25
More information: Visit downtownaustinmn.com