Batesville Downtown Staying Open on Second Friday Evenings

Downtown Batesville will be staying open on Friday evenings once a month beginning in August with the initial 2nd Friday Downtown “Wander and Wonder Walk.” The event is a joint project of Main Street Batesville and the Batesville Area Arts Council; organizers plan to create a festival atmosphere to attract both locals and visitors for an evening of shopping, special activities, music, dining, and just strolling in the downtown historic district, widely-known among architecture enthusiasts as an open-air museum of early 20th century architecture. Most downtown stores and businesses will stay open until 8:00 pm on the second Friday of every month; both Elizabeth’s Restaurant on Main Street and MorningSide Coffehouse on Harrison will remain open even later to accommodate all comers.

The monthly event was inspired by the growing popularity of the district’s antique and collectible stores. Six diverse stores form downtown’s nucleus: My Myra’s Antiques and Uniques, Back in Time Antiques, The Good Old Days Antique Mall, Judith Lee’s Antiques and Collectibles, The Spinning Wheel, and the Rainbow Mini-Mall Antiques and Collectibles. Life in the Ozarks magazine called the emerging antique district “a fortuitous mix of established institutions and energetic newcomers ready to welcome visitors from the traditional antique enthusiast to the junk shop junkie.” The magazine also pointed out that prices are extremely low compared to Hot Springs, Little Rock, or Memphis.

While the antique shops are the centerpiece of the event, visitors will find an eclectic mix of businesses, many of which will feature special activities or prices during the walk. Among the participants are the Paper Chase Bookstore, Thompson’s Jewelry, Skinner’s Jewelry, Nancy’s Embroidery, the Batesville Area Arts Council Gallery, and a number of new businesses that have opened recently. Most of the participating businesses are located on Main Street, but visitors can also visit the eclectic Rainbow Mini-Mall, just a block off of Main Street at 275 West College, and the Morningside Coffeehouse, 616 Harrison, which will remain open until 10 p.m.

The evening’s activities will include live music performances in the recently expanded Pocket Park, an Arkansas crafts area, working artists at the Batesville Area Arts Council Gallery, and the dedication of the recently-completed Old Independence County Courthouse mural in the heart of the historic district. A schedule of activities will be available in late July. To participate as a craft vendor or musician or for additional information contact Main Street Batesville at 870-793-4632 or [email protected] 2nd Friday Downtown is sponsored in part by First Community Bank.