SHERIDAN — Summer in Sheridan brings back many annual events, from rodeo to concerts in the park, and next week will kick off another beloved tradition with the return of the Third Thursday Street Festival.
On the third week of each month from June through September, commercial and food vendors, live music, nonprofit booths, entertainment and plenty of crowds line the streets of Historic Downtown Sheridan.
The event is an initiative of the Downtown Sheridan Association that used to be a joint venture with the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce — though their participation has dwindled in the past year or so.
Chamber Director of Marketing and Communications Meredith Sopko said that they still sit on the committee, help with street closures and are available for anything the DSA needs, though they no longer play a presenting role.
The chamber will again be serving Black Tooth Brewing Company beers at the festival as a fundraiser for their annual Brewfest event.
DSA Public Arts Coordinator and Third Thursday leader Beth Holsinger said things have been rolling along with a lot of vendor response and the organizers are expecting another very successful year.
As in years past, Main Street from Loucks Street to Alger Avenue will be closed to traffic as well as one block of each side street on either side of Main.
The event will also continue to offer free admission thanks to community sponsorships from Hammer Chevrolet, Bank of the West, Crafts Fine Jewelry and Brittan World Travel.
Thursday’s start to the season will feature live music from Sidetrack, a local 1980s cover band.
The band will set up on the Grinnell Plaza Stage from 5:30-7 p.m. and again from 7:30-9 p.m.
Many favorite vendors are returning with a few new ones added to the line-up for a total of more than 100 vendors registered to participate in June.
The “food court” vendors will include the return of Pico de Guyo Mexican food, The Burger Wagon and Mia’s Lumpia Asian food and will be joined by newcomers including Pie in the Sky, a pizza food truck from Wayne Gable, owner of Red Velvet Bakery.
Starting in July the fest will run concurrently with the Farmers Market also located on Grinnell, expanding the offerings of the evening.
July’s event will feature live music from regional touring band The Bus Driver Tour as well as a watermelon eating contest.
In August, participants can take to the grill for the return of the Blue Ribbon Steak Cook-off.
DSA will provide the meat and a temperature to reach and it’s up to the chefs what they bring to the table. In addition to watching the judging, audiences will have the opportunity to bid on steaks auctioned off at the event and the winner will be served a steak dinner on the spot.
The Rockin’ Jake Band out of New Orleans, Louisiana, will return to Sheridan for the Aug. 21 fest with their premier harmonica playing after being well received last year at a different event in town.
The final event in September will again host the Sheridan High School football team and cheerleaders for a community pep rally along with music from local favorite The Craft Brothers.
The events are sure to have something for the entire family, though Holsinger would like to remind the community to leave the four-legged members of their family at home.
In prior years, pets were in attendance but as of last year the festival became pet free for their safety and the safety of others as the crowds continue to grow and space continues to shrink.
For more information or to register a booth see downtownsheridan.org.