Holiday lights to brighten downtown |

Holiday lights to brighten downtown

Main Street observes 'Third Thursday'

Business owners on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs are famously generous when asked to provide a gift certificate for a fund-raiser on behalf of one of many local nonprofits. Now, Izabella Banas of Main Street Steamboat is offering a chance for business owners on Lincoln Avenue as well as Oak and Yampa streets to win one of three $100 gift certificates for themselves. The only catch is that they agree to put up holiday lighting in time for Main Street Steamboat’s “Third Thursday” observation Nov. 18.

Banas, one of the proprietors of the Nordic Lodge at 1036 Lincoln Ave., is the new chairwoman of Main Street’s promotions committee. She replaces Tracy Barnett, who was hired as the organization’s executive director.

Banas is trying to build a tradition of residents gathering in downtown Steamboat on the evening of the third Thursday of every month. This month’s celebration is based on the lighting of the holiday display.

“We’ll be lighting the lights on the large trees at the courthouse on Sixth Street at 6 p.m., and we hope all of the businesses will light their lights at the same time,” Banas said.

To build enthusiasm, Banas is organizing an informal contest for business owners who are prepared to light up early for the holidays. The three businesses deemed to have the best decorations will receive $100 Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association chamber certificates good at any chamber member business.

The public will be treated to free cookies and cider at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue, Banas said. A small herd of tiny reindeer might even make an appearance.

The Third Thursday promotion is based on a successful model that caught on with residents of Montrose, where the Main Street program has been in place for several years.

The Main Street Project is a time-tested method of injecting historic downtown shopping districts with new energy and a clearer focus.

Third Thursday will be observed again Dec. 16 when holiday caroling will be the theme.

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