Birthday wishes for a young event

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By Robert Villanueva

So often people complain there’s nothing to do when what they really mean is there’s not a specific activity they’re looking for going on locally that they know of. Not every kind of activity can be found around here, but those who think there’s absolutely nothing going on should think again.

At least once a month, you can walk the sidewalks of downtown Elizabethtown and find live music, local arts and crafts, and enjoy food and drink. Some of what you will find, such as the live music, is free, and the historic setting creates the leisurely pace of a bygone era.

September will mark the two-year anniversary of Second Saturday, the monthly downtown event in Elizabethtown. I continue to admire the strides it has made.

While many still might not be familiar with the event, Second Saturday is a free award-winning event during which downtown businesses are encouraged to stay open from 5 to 8 p.m. and include guests or activities. Additionally, the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Heritage Council coordinates attractions during that time.

The sidewalks and shops in the downtown area come alive with artists, crafters, musicians and food vendors. The event is consistently growing and attracting new visitors, filling the downtown area with activity.

During a recent Second Saturday, three musical acts performed at various locations offering free concerts to visitors. And free music typically is part of the monthly event, so it isn’t as if it was a one-time deal.

Rock, blues, acoustic, alternative, bluegrass and country are some of the genres of music that have been performed during Second Saturday.

Music is not the only art performed either.

Belly dancing, scenes from plays and poetry readings have been performed at Second Saturday.

Food vendors offer burgers, barbecue, tacos, nachos, hot dogs and ice cream among other things. Haven’t seen an old-fashioned lemonade stand? Second Saturday has.

Then there are the crafters and artists. Handmade jewelry, hair bows and knitted items, wood burned art, face paintings, caricatures, dyed T-shirts and creepy dolls are among the offerings.

Sometimes other events are scheduled to coincide with Second Saturday. September’s Second Saturday, which includes Via Colori, is a good example.

Via Colori is a free annual street painting festival. The event will be held 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

During the event, artists create works of art on the downtown streets and sidewalks, raising funds for the nonprofit Advocacy and Support Center.

The art produced at Via Colori is often amazing, sometimes inspiring but never boring, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve taken countless photos of the work.

In the past two years, I think I’ve missed attending only one Second Saturday. That was this month, when I volunteered to help with the Civil War Ghosts & Legends drama at the Brown-Pusey House that occurred at the same time.

Yep. Another event that coincided with Second Saturday.

Though I’ve begun to see a lot of visitors return each month, I still run into people who don’t know about Second Saturday, and that’s a shame.

I enjoy seeing an active downtown, browsing table after table of crafts, confections and art. I like the fact that I can stroll down the sidewalk and listen to a musician strum a guitar and sing, a busker into whose tip jar or open guitar case a few bills and several coins have landed.

Although still in its infancy, Second Saturday has helped bring the focus to downtown Elizabethtown. In fact, live music, arts, crafts and activities have begun springing up beyond the once-a-month event.
So “Happy Second Birthday” to Second Saturday.

Here’s to many more.

Robert Villanueva can be reached at 270-505-1743 or rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com.