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Frank Ferry: Main Street emerging as local hot spot

Live from City Hall

Posted: February 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Old Town Newhall has the unique distinction of being one of the city of Santa Clarita’s most historic communities.

Well-known for its rich Western movie heritage and unique cultural charm, the 271-acre area features prominent points of interest, such as William S. Hart Park and mansion, the Walk of Western Stars and public facilities, including the Newhall Metrolink Station, the Veterans Historic Plaza and the Newhall Community Center.

The area is also home to a five-block, newly remodeled streetscape along Main Street, which features two theaters, dozens of eclectic shops and eateries and a new 30,000-square-foot public library, which is set to open later this year.

Although there are plenty of amenities and attractions in Old Town Newhall, there’s a new reason why hundreds of people of all ages flock to the area every month.

The city of Santa Clarita, in collaboration with the Old Town Newhall Association, launched a series of events in 2011 to support revitalization efforts in the area. Centered on bringing visitors to Old Town Newhall on a recurring basis, Thursdays @ Newhall includes a variety of exciting monthly events on Main Street that are free and open to the public.

With street festivals, fresh produce, food trucks, art, entertainment, shopping and dining, Thursdays @ Newhall have become the local hot spot for community members to enjoy an experience unlike anywhere else in Santa Clarita.
Residents are encouraged to visit Main Street and enjoy fresh, fun and original events every Thursday night. Thursdays @ Newhall offerings include:

- Farmers market — Home to some of the region’s best farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and specialty food items, the farmers market takes place every Thursday night, from 4 to 8 p.m. The farmers market is currently closed for winter, but will resume on March 1 with a new operator and even more produce, specialty items, other foods and activities.

- ArtWalk — This event combines distinctive art, gourmet food trucks and hands-on art experiences for art enthusiasts of all ages. Art Walk is hosted every first Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. and runs in conjunction with the weekly farmers market.

- Senses — Awaken your senses at this monthly themed block party where bands, food trucks, activities, contests and more get the weekend started right. Senses is hosted every third Thursday, from 7 to 11 p.m., and runs in conjunction with the weekly farmers market.

Since its launch over eight months ago, Thursdays @ Newhall has experienced several milestone accomplishments. The monthly events have drawn more then 15,000 people to the area, introduced new audiences to local restaurants, theaters and shops and established Old Town Newhall as the place to be on a Thursday night in Santa Clarita.

Additionally, the city has received dozens of compliments from businesses along Main Street who are seeing more shoppers and visitors to their pedestrian-friendly downtown area and as a result are staying open later during these one-of-a-kind events. The area has also seen an influx of new businesses betting on the success of Old Town Newhall, such as the Blow Dry Studio, Cake Goodness, Pulchella Winery, Fresh, Labels and OutWest, among others.

By creating the Thursdays @ Newhall events, the city of Santa Clarita has added new life, energy and visitors to Old Town Newhall in less than one year. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out Main Street, I hope you will make plans to give it a try.

For more information about the Thursdays @ Newhall events, visit Santa-Clarita.com/Arts or contact the city’s Arts and Events Office at (661) 250-3778.

Frank Ferry is a Santa Clarita City Councilman and can be reached at: fferry@santa-clarita.com.

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