By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“This extends the window for shopping,” said Port Townsend Main Street Executive Director Mari Mullen.
“People don’t have to race out on Friday to get something before the stores close.
“This is more convenient for locals, but staying open later is something that visitors will appreciate.”
Extending hours to 7 p.m. begins tonight and will continue every Friday and Saturday through Labor Day.
The event is being celebrated with a “solstice shop stroll” tonight.
The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, will begin at 3:51 a.m. Saturday. It marks the first day of summer, when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky.
Throughout the summer, Main Street will encourage “buskers,” musicians who perform for tips, to inhabit the sidewalks of Water Street from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Featured tonight are the Young Fiddlers, who will be performing near Flagship Landing, 1001 Water St., and have committed to several appearances through the summer.
The coordinated effort to stay open until 7 p.m. came out of a merchant breakfast earlier this year.
It grew to include 30 merchants and 34 restaurants in both the downtown and uptown areas.
Many of the restaurants are open evenings, so there is no change, but several of the participating merchants usually close by 5:30 p.m.
“This is a great idea and will really help the downtown vibe,” said Holly Green, who owns Sideshow Variety at 630 Water St., which normally closes at 5:30 p.m.
“It’s nice to have it be uniform, since people are always asking me who is open late or what time they close.
“Now I can give them a list of all these stores that are staying open later.”
In addition this week, there is also something happening on what is traditionally the slowest night of the week.
The second of Main Street’s quarterly pub crawls takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday.
The first pub crawl commemorated St. Patrick’s Day.
The second celebrates the summersolstice. People are encouraged to wear their sunglasses at night.
For $10, each participant will receive an official Port Townsend Pub Crawl souvenir glass, map and wristband, which will provide exclusive drink and appetizer specials.
Each venue also will offer an activity to encourage participants to come to its location. Activities include music, bingo, bar games, trivia and drawings for fun prizes.
Those participating in the pub crawl are the Tin Brick, 232 Taylor St.; Middletown Dreams Pinbar, 213 Taylor St.; Sirens, 823 Water St.; the Cellar Door, 940 Water St.; Fins Coastal Cuisine, 1019 Water St.; The Public House, 1038 Water St.; and the Uptown Pub, 1016 Lawrence St.
Main Street is encouraging all participants to avail themselves of a designated driver for whom all locations will offer a free or low-cost non-alcoholic beverage.
“We are lucky in Port Townsend to have so many fun places to enjoy each other’s company,” Mullen said.
“The pub crawl is the perfect excuse to go out with friends and have an affordable night on the town.”
Tickets are on sale at all the participating locations as well as online through the Port Townsend Main Street website at www.ptmainstreet.org.
Tickets purchased online can be picked up June 23 at one of the participating venues.
The future pub crawls are scheduled for Sept. 29 and Dec. 22.
For information about either event, visit www.ptmainstreet.org or phone 360-385-7911.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.