Mary DesMarais, executive director of Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance, said Thursday Night Out is a year-round, twelve-month pilot program.
“Businesses have committed to do this,” she said.
Fifty retailers, galleries and restaurants have signed on to participate in the pilot program.
Last Thursday night’s event was all about celebrating Mother’s Day, and to kick it off the Downtown Waterfront Alliance’s roaming Goodwill Ambassadors were on hand to present each mom with a long-stemmed red rose.
Ten art galleries are taking part in the waterfront celebration.
Port Townsend artist Gary Peterson’s art was featured at Tradewinds Treasure Gallery and Gallery Row featured 3-D artist Nancy Cory.
In addition to the retailers, art galleries and restaurants, there was live entertainment from Peninsula Youth Orchestra’s String Quartet, Pop Star Kids USA, Chuck and Robin Wayne, and Sharon Stearnes, Gig Harbor’s One Woman Band.
A free shuttle bus was available with stops clearly marked. Beginning in June, Pierce Transit’s “Get Around Gig Harbor” trolley will operate Thursday nights until 8:30.
Jim Busse, manager of Ship to Shore, said his business was excited to be part of the program.
“We want to be part of what happens in Gig Harbor and the waterfront is a vital part of Gig harbor,” he said.
At The Keeping Room, Bruce Gair, who has owned the business for 24 years, was busy pouring wine for visitors.
“I’m hopeful that this event will re-energize downtown. We are supporting the art community by participating and staying open,” he said as he filled wine-tasting glasses with champagne laced with chocolate port.
DesMarais is enthusiastic about Thursday Night Out, which will run the second Thursday of each month on the downtown waterfront from 5-8 p.m.
“We really want people to see all the wonderful things going on downtown and to remember that downtown is a great place to shop, walk and dine. It is the soul of the community,” she said.