The first Thursday of each month is always The Main Event.

The first Thursday of each month is always The Main Event.
The Main Event-First Thursdays is an initiative by McPherson Main Street to increase business at and exposure of local businesses through later than usual hours. This Thursday, several Main Street businesses will be open until 7 p.m. or later to accommodate shoppers who otherwise wouldn't be able to shop locally.
“This has been an ongoing attempt to have the Downtown businesses stay open late to raise awareness of the products and services that are available right here in McPherson,” said Ann Engel, executive director of McPherson Main Street. “Currently we have 14 open every Thursday and 20 open the First Thursday.”
Local businesses rely on local people and visitors, and the later hours encourage local shoppers to visit at their convenience when typical 9 to 5 hours don't work. More businesses means more jobs, more tax dollars staying in the community, ad more local services and products.
“We are all guilty of asking these businesses for donations or sponsorships for our clubs, our children's projects, etc., but we often forget that it works both ways, and we need to support them with our business,” Engel said. “Our Downtown is so fortunate to have so many dedicated business owners who are committed to McPherson, but we all need to support them so that they continue to be profitable.”
In addition to later business hours, The Main Event-First Thursdays usually has special events as well. February, for example, had Shopolate, where people could sample different chocolates in Main Street stores that night.
The Ulster Project typically does its annual Irish Meal on March's First Thursday, and November brings the Snowball Drop and the kick-off for Candy Cane Cash, as well as the Holiday Open House Weekend.
“We would like to add something in the early summer and the fall with all of the other months being a variety based on each store's preference,” Engel said.
The following businesses are open at least as late as 7 p.m. each Thursday: Craft Coffee Parlor, Mattress Haven, Village Geek, Main Street Deli, B&B Theaters, Tres Amigos, Knackies, Twice Told Tales, Creative Hairlines, The Bookshelf, Sherwin Williams, CT Fit 24, Marigolds Bar and Grill, and Grabers ACE Hardware. Additionally, these businesses are open until at least 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month: ArtShirt, Buy Supps, Cooks Nook, Clayworks, Stitches, and Venable Jewelers.
“Opportunities will vary per store, as some will have a monthly First Thursday event, like Stitches Quilt Shop and their Mystery Quilt Block, and some will have demonstrations featuring a specific product or service,” Engel said. “There will be sales, but the purpose is to raise awareness of what is available rather than discount an item.”
These and other Main Street businesses may have extended hours on other days of the week as well. For more information, contact individual stores or McPherson Main Street, 620-241-7430.
“We are lucky to have so few empty spaces compared to many other cities our size and even larger,” Engel said. “As a small community, it is not possible to have everything right here, but I sincerely do believe that our local options are comparable in price and variety with many products to choose from, and the service is personal and unbeatable.”