GRAVETTE -- The weather cooperated beautifully for Gravette's September 21 Third Thursday celebration.
Although weather forecasts had worried some who felt the forecast of rain might discourage vendors and visitors from attending, the rain ended shortly after noon, and streets had dried nicely by the time the event began at 4 p.m. Several folks from around the area came out to participate in the activities sponsored by the Greater Gravette Chamber of Commerce.
Two blocks of Main Street were close to traffic, and vendor booths were set up on both sides of the street. There was lots of activity and plenty of booths to interest visitors of all ages.
A giant inflatable set up by the Chamber attracted the youngsters with its pirate ship theme, and Alaina Carlton was on hand to paint designs on the faces of any who were interested. Alaina stays busy as each new season arrives, painting appropriate designs on the windows of downtown businesses. She has recently added new fall decorations.
Steven Robinson of Bethel Repair Company provided free snow cones for thirsty visitors, and Dez and Aaron Whitten at the Hometown Venue again offered refreshing lemon smoothies. The Whittens also sponsored a hula hoop contest, with competition in several age groups. They offered paper leis to all contestants and awarded medals to the winning contestants.
The Gravette Public Library extended its open hours and hosted BJ Tassin, a Bella Vista author who held a book signing for her first novel, "Bona-Fide," available in regular type, as well as large print, ebook, and audiobook editions.
Musical entertainment was provided by members of the Chasing Parked Cars band and the Old Town String Band. Each group would play a few tunes and then allow the other band to perform a few. Members of the OTSB were also selling raffle tickets for a handmade quilt and banjo for a drawing held Saturday at a Lions Club block party.
Melissa Provence, director of the Billy V. Hall Senior Activity Center, was on hand with several Senior Activity Center patrons, selling fresh-baked cinnamon rolls from the Center kitchen. This is one of several fundraisers the Senior Activity Center has been conducting to help raise funds for a new van.
Other vendors offered a wide variety of products. There was a Mary Kay consultant selling cosmetics and beauty aids, and several booths offered earrings, charm bracelets and other jewelry. One could purchase T-shirts to wear to fall football games, potted mums to decorate one's front porch, Halloween decorations, and a wide variety of gift items for family and friends.
Don Zook, "The Nut Man," was selling all sorts of nuts for tasty, healthy snacks and even had a few rabbits to sell. Some would be ideal for 4-H projects, he said. One young man was circulating among the crowd, taking orders for sausage, bacon and other Blue and Gold products for an FFA project.
The Hammer and Stain studio was open with workshops available for fall craft projects, and several other downtown businesses stayed open late, including Little Black Boutique, Total Bliss, Henzie's Art Studio, Gravette Nutrition and Lili's Bubble Waffles. Many were offering special sales.
The next Third Thursday celebration will be held Thursday, Oct. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m.