On 39th Street, Third Friday celebrations keep growing

Donna Foulk of Donna’s Dress Shop is preparing for 39th Street’s Third Friday on June 20. She and other merchants along 39th Street will stay open late and offer live music and refreshments.

Many Midtowners go down to the Crossroads District for First Fridays, a combination of street party, gallery exhibits, live music and refreshments. Midtown merchants on 39th Street host their street party on Third Fridays each month. The event actually began more than a decade ago, but it fizzled out for a while. Tex Houston, District Manager of the 39th Street Community Improvement District (CID), says Third Fridays started up again last year and really got hopping this spring.

 “We aren’t trying to compete with the Crossroads First Fridays. The Crossroads has really found its niche, but we also wanted to have our special day,” she says. The 39th Street festival highlights live music at some venues and featured artists at others. Merchants offer special deals and roll out new products, and most offer refreshments. Local restaurants – 39th Street is knows as “restaurant row” – offer special menus.

One of the biggest attractions lately has been the opportunity to get a 39th Street bumper sticker and a chance to have your picture taken with your face inside the Giant 39th Street sticker. (Stay tuned to the Midtown KC Post if you don’t know what that means yet.)

Donna Foulk, owner of Donna’s Dress Shop, says her business doubles on Third Fridays. She saves up new inventory for the event, and many of her regular customers make a point of attending. While they’re there, they also visit the other shops along 39th Street. “It’s a nice time for local businesses to come together,” she says. “The local business owners know each other better now.”

While many of us drive across 39th Street daily, walking and exploring the various shops is a different experience. Houston hopes more people will take the time to stroll the area and Third Fridays will continue to grow. “Little by little we’re building it up,” she says. “It will keep getting bigger as long as we are consistent.”

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