A PARTY atmosphere in the town centre is the aim of a group of traders as they launch a new late-night shopping initiative.
Beginning in March, 1stThursdays will see shops stay open until 8pm to offer special promotions and entertainment on the first Thursday of each month.
Organisers hope to boost trade by coaxing shoppers out to enjoy retail therapy, catch up on appointments without taking time off work, and soak up the atmosphere on a night out.
Rugby’s first evening street food market will be the centrepiece of the first event, on Thursday March 5.
Musicians and actors from Rugby Theatre will entertain crowds throughout the evening with performances such as an acoustic guitar set and a Shakespeare sonnet recital.
And retailers are planning demonstrations, events and promotions.
Independent shops Vanilla and Etcetera will offer lucky dips and raffles, Garden Gate flowers will hold floral accessory workshops, Bargain Booze will host a wine tasting session, and Cinnamon and Marmalade will hold a mini wedding fair.
Other participants include Rugby Tap, Cadman Homes, CV22 – The Rugby Co., Oxygen Graphics, St Andrews Church, Terracotta and ZHR Marketing.
Garden Gate owner Simon Ainley, chair of the group of retailers behind 1stThursdays, said: “For people who may have fallen out of love with the town, 1stThursdays is a great way to reignite that passion.
“It is also a first date, drawing in people from outside the town to experience the fantastic range and quality of retailers we have.
“We will be putting on quite a show with street food, artisan produce, music and drama. It all adds up to a fun night of shopping, eating and entertainment.”
The campaign is supported by Rugby Borough Council, Rugby First and Warwickshire County Council.
Visit www.loverugbytown.co.uk for more information.