Downtown Hammond introduces “Hot August Month”

Downtown+Development+District+will+be+hosting+a+month-long+event+called+%22Hot+August+Month%22+to+support+local+merchants.+The+event+will+begin+with+%22Downtown+Chalk+Walk%22+on+Saturday%2C+August+8+and+will+continue+with+themed+weeks+to+support+establishments.

Maggie Tregre/The Lion's Roar

Downtown Development District will be hosting a month-long event called "Hot August Month" to support local merchants. The event will begin with "Downtown Chalk Walk" on Saturday, August 8 and will continue with themed weeks to support establishments.

In an effort to support local merchants while enforcing social distancing, the Hammond Downtown Development District has created an extended alternative to “Hot August Night.”

This year, “Hot August Month” will take its place. The month-long event will consist of themed weeks to promote retail stores, art establishments, restaurants and other downtown businesses.

“Hot August Month” will kick off with Culture & Creativity Week on August 3-9, followed by Retail Therapy Week on August 10-16 and Food & Drink Week on August 17-23. Back to School Week will conclude the event during the week of August 24-30 and feature a Picnic in the Park event on August 29.

Kati Morse, assistant director of DDD, shared why the district worked to make the event possible.

“We didn’t want to cancel it altogether because it is such a huge part of commerce in the city of Hammond,” explained Morse. “It’s really big for our small businesses, so we tried to come up with a creative way to still have the event in a safe environment.”

To participate, merchants are encouraged to visit the website and determine which week their business would best fit into.

 

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Morse explained how DDD categorized the weeks to highlight different kinds of businesses.

“We looked at a list of all of our merchants so that’s anybody who has a brick and mortar business within the downtown district, and we decided to break it up into categories,” said Morse. “That’s where we got the structure for the four weeks.”

One main event of the first week is the “Downtown Chalk Walk” on Saturday, August 8, with supply pickup lasting from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Hammond Regional Arts Center. 

Morse mentioned the main establishments that fall under Culture & Creativity Week.

“The Hammond Arts Center, the Painting with a Twist, the Children’s Discovery Center anything where you can go and have a culturally enriching experience, that will make up our first week,” said Morse.

Throughout Retail Therapy Week, locals can expect sales, extended hours and chances to win prizes. The week will include a sidewalk sale on Saturday.

During Food & Drink Week, customers can expect special menus from their favorite restaurants and bars.

“We sent out newsletters to all of our restaurants and bars, and we kind of modelled it off of New Orleans Culinary Week,” shared Morse. “All of these restaurants will offer special menus for one price. For people who may have never been to that restaurant or want to try something new, they can go there and pay one flat fee.”

Morse shared that participating in Food & Drink Week is also a chance to win prizes.

“For anyone who orders off of the special ‘Hot August Month’ menu, there is going to be a QR code at the bottom that they can scan with their phone,” said Morse. “Anyone who scans that menu will be entered into a contest for gift cards for different establishments in downtown Hammond.”

As “Hot August Month” concludes with Back to School Week, visitors can greet Roomie at the Picnic in the Park event. DDD will announce the performing band for the night within the upcoming week.

Morse mentioned that the day will be less structured than previous events to encourage social distancing.

 “At this point, we’re not going to provide tables and chairs or tents,” said Morse. “It’s kind of like ‘come at your own leisure’. We’re going to have a band in the gazebo, and if folks want to come and bring food or get takeout and come sit on blankets, they are welcome to do so.”

Morse expressed her excitement for enjoying Hot August festivities in a new structure and believes it will be the best way to keep the people of Hammond safe.

“We worked really hard on it, and we’re looking forward to it,” said Morse. “We ultimately decided that, for everyone’s safety involved, this was the best way to handle it.”

Information on registration as well as the calendar for “Hot August Month” can be found at dddhammond.com and @downtownhammondla on Instagram.

 

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