SHERIDAN — Despite changes in organizational management, the planners behind Sheridan’s Third Thursday Festival say they’re ready to kick off another successful season June 20.
“We’ve got a lot of interest (from the public),” said Third Thursday coordinator Beth Holsinger. “It looks like it’s going to be a really good year.”
In contrast to past years, this year’s festivals will be executed primarily by the Downtown Sheridan Association and with diminished support from the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber Executive Director Dixie Johnson said the change came about as the result of a recent strategic planning decision by the organization’s board of directors.
While still a supporter of the event, Johnson said the Chamber decided its manpower resources could better be put to use in other capacities throughout the year.
Additionally, Johnson said the DSA displayed a willingness to take on more responsibility for planning the events.
“We’ve worked very well with them and helped them build the festival into what it is, but we thought it would be time for one (of the two organizations) to take control,” Johnson said.
Representatives of both the Chamber and the DSA said the organizational change was made in large part to streamline the lengthy planning process.
A complete list of sponsors for this year’s series has not yet been released, but Holsinger said the DSA is currently looking to secure up to four additional major backers.
Confirmed large-scale sponsors already on board include the city of Sheridan and Sheridan Travel and Tourism.
Also a change from years past, the Sheridan Farmers Market will occasionally be moved to Grinnell Plaza from its previous location in Whitney Commons this summer in order to more easily facilitate a flow of people between the two events.
The weekly market is scheduled to begin July 18. On weeks that coincide with Third Thursdays, the market will be located farther East on Grinnell Street to accommodate the festival’s usual array of food vendors.
Farmers market manager Bonnie Gregory said the change in location was made for both economic and practical reasons, adding that organizers hope to increase profitability for vendors by hosting the event in a more readily visible site once per month.