Chatham Merchants To Launch Monday Night Music Stroll

By: Tim Wood

Topics: Chatham Merchants Association

Similar to the long-running and successful Port Summer Nights in Harwich Port (pictured), Mondays on Main will feature bands, musicians and other entertainers.  FILE PHOTO

CHATHAM – For eight Monday evenings this summer, Main Street in downtown Chatham will be turned into Music Street.

Similar to the long-running and successful Port Summer Nights in Harwich Port, Mondays on Main will feature bands, musicians and other entertainers performing in scattered locations from the rotary to the Chatham Wine Bar at 359 Main St. Local businesses will sponsor performers, and restaurants and food vendors will be encouraged to make their fare available to pedestrians strolling the sidewalks, said Chatham Merchants Association President Rebecca Voelkel.

“The goal is to get all in town to participate,” said told selectmen Tuesday.

Plans call for a different theme every week – such as Hawaiian night or pirates – with much of the activity focused on kids and families but appealing to all age groups, she said. Along with music, there may be face painting, Chatham Angler's baseball signings and other events.

Voelkel said she and others have noticed during the past few seasons that business in the evening was slow, especially during the beginning of the week. “I looked out my window and was shocked to see how few people there were on Main Street on a Wednesday night,” she said. Monday night was chosen as a way to attract families and visitors in town for the week, and does not compete with Harwich Port's Wednesday music stroll and Chatham's Friday night band concerts, she said.

“We felt it was a free night,” she said, adding that the Harwich Port event is very popular and attracts many people from Chatham.

Performers would be located in spots along Main Street that are off the sidewalk so as not to impede traffic, Voelkel said. Most will be on private areas where there are patios, lawns or courtyards. A mock-up brochure shows six or seven spots locations, and she said where performers are stationed would vary each week so that they are spread around downtown.

Mondays on Main will run for eight weeks, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Voelkel was before selectmen Tuesday to introduce them to the event and get their initial approval. The Merchants Association will be back for various approvals related to the event as details solidify.

“Your competing with the selectmen's meetings, you know,” commented Selectman Jeffrey Dykens. “I think it's a great idea.”