Wednesday, 08 May 2019 21:59

Affair On The Square coming to downtown Rockingham Thursday

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ARTS Richmond invites those coming to Affair on the Square to sign up to help on on several murals that are works in progress. ARTS Richmond invites those coming to Affair on the Square to sign up to help on on several murals that are works in progress. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Live music, children's activities, exhibitors, artists and merchants will all move outdoors to the sidewalks of downtown Rockingham Thursday evening for the latest edition of Affair On The Square. 


From 5 to 8 p.m., restaurants and local artists will come together to show off their artistic talents and bring people to downtown to shop, listen and eat.

"We started Affair On The Square as a way to increase traffic downtown on a weeknight," said Sharon Nichols, a member of the event planning board for the Rockingham Downtown Corporation. "You always hear 'Shop Local.' This is a fun way to shop local. Come downtown, eat in the restaurants, shop the vendors, shop the merchants that are open and have some fun."

Nichols added that Pattan's Grille, Henry's Uptown Cafe and Hudson Brothers Deli will all be open for dinner, and she hopes that after eating, folks will take a stroll down the streets of downtown to see local artists and exhibitors and buy some of their work.

She went on to say that some of the items people might see on their tour will be jewelry, wood working, crafts, candles, face painting, greenhouse plants and wine, among many other items and entertaining options.

DJ EROC will be spinning the ones and twos in front of Capital Bank, formerly Fidelity Bank, and Junior Roscoe will be on guitar beside Discovery Place Kids on East Washington Street. The other musical option will be the duo Doin' It Again, made up of Chris Herring and Roger Campbell, inside of the Hudson Brothers, according to manager Robin Roberts.

“I'm sure a few other musicians will be on hand to join in,” she added.

Participating merchants will also be offering discounts and drawings for gift certificates or merchandise. Simply Chic, Willow Tree Antiques and Gifts, Arts Richmond and new business Dr. Pharmacy will all each be giving away a $25 gift certificate for those patronizing their businesses. Helms Jewelers will also be open, Nichols said, with a table in front of the store to sell selective items.

Arts Richmond is also hoping some patrons will stop by and sign up to help work on several murals that are in progress.

One, which will eventually hang on the side of the Arts Richmond building, currently features a beaver with a paddle in its mouth, the downtown clock, piano keys, a camera, people dancing and various art supplies.

However, some of those elements could change, according to board member Laura Daskal.

Another mural, which saw its first strokes on Veterans Day last fall, has a U.S. flag, dog tags and a penciled-in pair of combat boots.

The goal is to have it complete by this Veterans Day to go up at the VFW Post on Caroline Street.

Daskal said there are plans to take it down to the VFW on Memorial Day to have more work done to it.

Anyone interested in helping out is encouraged to visit artsrichmond.net and sign up.

The downtown gallery will also have the Richmond Community College student art exhibit on display Thursday.

The exhibit opened with a reception last week and stay on display throughout the month.

The Drug Endangered Families Task Force will also be set up with information on the county’s role in the fight against opioid addiction, the use of Narcan, and a peer support group for those in recovery.

Affair on the Square, which is sponsored by the Rockingham Downtown Corporation, began back in the spring of 2016. Now in its fourth year, the event has more often than not had to deal with mother nature. As for the forecast for tomorrow evening, Nichols said, "So far, so good," and "Unless we have a hurricane coming, we're good to go."

Hudson Brothers has been located downtown for more than 40 years now, so Roberts has seen her fair share of events come and go to the area, but she's hoping this one will be an event that sticks.

"Hudson Brothers, the Rockingham Downtown Corp. and myself are excited to have Affair On The Square tomorrow," she said. "We look forward to all the foot traffic in our beautiful downtown … (and) making this event bigger and bigger every year.”

William R. Toler contributed to this story.