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Third Thursday unveils new concert series

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KZSM radio has announced its new Kissing Alley concert series for the summer in partnership with the Third Thursday downtown walkabout concept. Kairos and The Pat Thomas Collective are set to hit the stage tonight for the second installment of the series.

The Third Thursday Downtown Walkabout provides San Marcos residents the opportunity to enjoy downtown at a discount, and with special activities.

Dahlia Woods, owner of the Dahlia Woods Gallery, started the walkabout to invite people to visit art galleries, but now includes restaurants and hosts the Kissing Alley concert series.  The concept is a collaboration between Woods, KZSM, local San Marcos station and Main Street San Marcos.

Woods started the project in November with eight businesses participating, but has since grown the project to involve 31 local companies.

“I came up with the idea of the Third Thursday walkabout because walkabout in the Australian bush means to explore and experience,” Woods said. “Thursday nights were very quiet downtown, and now, once a month, it’s getting busy and we have a lot of activity.”

For the June installment, The Refrains and Ashleigh Stone are set to perform. The performances are free and will last from 6- 9 p.m. at the Kissing Alley, which currently stands covered in string lights, tables and chairs.

Samantha Armbruster, program manager for the San Marcos Main Street program, said Woods’ initial inspiration for the walkabout was a gallery night so art is a major theme, whether there is a gallery show or a musical performance.

“Last month was the first ever Kissing Alley concert series that was held in conjunction with third Thursdays,” Armbruster said. “This month we’ll see that again and we expect the concert series will grow, and that it will be a monthly addition to the walkabout.”

In February, the Planning and Zoning Commission Council voted to officially rename the alley on Hopkins Street, to Kissing Alley. Together, The Shade, Stonewall Warehouse and Taproom worked to close the alley, host a band and put chairs out in the alley so residents could enjoy the scene. The alley now stands as a popular photo location, music venue and tourist attraction.

“The downtown walkabout is just a community builder, a retail driver and it’s just an authentic way for people to see and experience downtown,” Armbruster said.

Craft House Table and Bar is one business that participates in the 3rd Thursday Downtown Walkabout. Katie Jo, manager of Craft House, said she has seen an increase in business on event days.

“Thursdays are piano night so we already have that going on, but we do notice that business has gotten a little busier between 5-7 p.m.,” Jo said.

Craft House and other participating businesses will be offering specials to promote the event.

“The downtown walkabout is just a community builder, a retail driver and it’s just an authentic way for people to see and experience downtown,” Armbruster said.

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