Second Saturday events launch in Downtown Urbana

After more than a year of limited events and opportunities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, who doesn’t want to be outside enjoying local fare and flavor?

The Urbana Downtown Merchants Association and the Monument Square District have partnered to offer just that: “Second Saturday” kicks-off this Saturday, May 8.

The monthly event scheduled to run through October will feature outdoor dining, food trucks, live entertainment, and special offers and extended hours from participating retail locations.

“We want to bring people downtown,” says Tina Knott, owner of Let’s Eat Cake and president of the Urbana Downtown Merchants Association. “We have a lot to offer in the historic downtown of Urbana. People have been cooped up for a year, and they are just excited to get out.”

The Monument Square District in Urbana features more than 26 unique shops and restaurants, and the Second Saturday events will be family focused, she says.

When planning to launch the Second Saturday events, Shop Urbana and the Monument Square District considered the popular “First Friday” event, Knott says.

“People have been talking about the ‘First Fridays,’ but there are other towns around us doing First Fridays,” says Knott. “Downtown Urbana already attracts a large amount of people on the first weekend of the month due to the flea market in town. We decided, ‘let’s jump on something else.’”

Knott says Second Saturday is an all-day event – from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. – where people can come-and-go. The event is free of charge.

“It will be fun, especially when the weather cooperates,” she says.

The Second Saturday event on May 8 is sponsored by Oxners General Store, Café Paradiso, Lily’s Garden, and Let’s Eat Cake.

“As we go forward into the fall, Second Saturday will collaborate with planned events, such as Balloon Fest and Art Affair on the Square in September,” says Knott. “Our goal is to create a vibrant downtown and encourage customer foot traffic through experiencing shopping and dining in Downtown Urbana.”

The Urbana Downtown Merchant Group was formed about three years ago by several local Urbana businesses to collaborate on events and to provide a stronger local message. The organization's mission is to market Downtown Urbana by creating a positive retail experience.

Read more articles by Darci Jordan.

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