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New look to ‘Thursdays at Newhall’

City event returns next week with changes meant to draw larger crowds

Posted: March 1, 2014 10:35 p.m.
Updated: March 1, 2014 10:35 p.m.
 

Santa Clarita is launching a retooled version of the “Thursdays at Newhall” event series next week, and one city official said he hopes changes to this year’s version will draw heftier crowds to downtown Newhall.

The Thursdays at Newhall series is made up of several different events, each of which are held on different Thursdays of the month on Main Street in Newhall.

This series includes “Art Slam” events spotlighting different types of art and artists, “Senses” block party events and “JAM Sessions,” events that feature live music and an opportunity for dancing in the streets.

Art Slam events are held the first Thursday of every month, JAM Sessions the second Thursday of each month and Senses are held the third Thursday of every month, according to the city. Events are expected to run from March through October.

This year’s series, which is part of the way the city is working to brand downtown Newhall as an arts and entertainment district, starts Thursday with an Art Slam event spotlighting female artists, according to Phil Lantis, arts and events administrator with the city of Santa Clarita.

The city has retooled the event series somewhat this year to try and draw larger crowds to Newhall, Lantis said.

For starters, the Art Slam and Senses events are shorter, starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. like last year. JAM Sessions will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“We found out that people just aren’t hanging out that late,” Lantis said.

The condensed time of the event accompanies a condensed area. Rather than having events run the span of Main Street like some did last year, Lantis said the city will focus on containing many of the events on Main Street between Sixth Street and Market Street.

“We heard from people that they liked it there, so hopefully having it be a consistent location will help,” Lantis said.

The city is also discontinuing the Thursday farmer’s market, as that particular fixture never gained the kind of traction officials hoped for.

“Right now it made sense to give that one a break because it struggled for a while,” Lantis said. “And we tried a couple different things and just couldn’t quite figure out how to make it work for the community.”

Lantis said he hopes the tweaks will mean more people coming out to the event series.

“We’re really excited for the year,” Lantis said of the event series. “We’re hoping to kick it off with a bang and make sure people are aware of it."

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