Downtown Milford sprang back to life in a big way this month with the return of its 3rd Thursday event.
A solid turn-out of people shopping, grabbing a bite to eat, or catching up with friends and acquaintances in the downtown Riverwalk area welcomed its return May 20.
With two blocks of South Walnut Street closed off, there was plenty of room to congregate while practicing social distance.
“It’s been great for us so far,” says Lisa Marino, store manager at Blooming Boutiques. “This is one of the better ones compared to past events because people want to get out. There’s more food options this year as well.”
The event had been held every third Thursday of each month to promote small businesses, but was shut-down due to the pandemic.
In addition, Delaware Division of Public Health officials were handing out information on the six COVID-19 vaccine locations in Milford. Officials say they plan to set-up a vaccination station at the June 17 3rd Thursday. They didn’t do it this time because they weren’t sure what the turnout would be.
Food trucks from The Big Salami, Curbside Grill & Catering, Chesapeake Bay Seafood and Top Five BBQ offered dining options. In addition, the new location for La Hacienda is open, and it was packed as much as regulations allowed.
The crowd allowed small shops and galleries to show Milford is open for business once again. Many of the businesses, such as Blooming Boutiques, were hit hard with forced closures and restrictions.
Marino says the increase in foot traffic for the event is welcoming, a sentiment expressed by many of the area businesses.
Other shops such as Good News Natural Foods, remained open at limited capacity due to its essential business tag. Manager Jacqueline Heldorfer says 3rd Thursday gets the word out that they’re here.
“We slowed down at the beginning of the pandemic with curbside pick-up, but we’re open back up with shorter hours,” Heldorfer says. “This is my first time experiencing [3rd Thursday]. Been good and definitely busier.”
Red Bandana, the local comic store next door, was also bustling with customers buying comics and cards. Vintage toys caught the attention of browsing customers, reminders a time before face masks. North Pole Creamery, open right next door, provided the quintessential treat which followed a blast from the past nostalgic rush.
Milford officials are pleased with the excitement surrounding 3rd Thursday’s return. They are hopeful that more people will come out to shop and eat as word gets out that the popular event is back. More information can be found here.