Thursday Night Live organizer says about 10,000 at last event

The beach party was in full swing along Madison Street in downtown Jefferson City Thursday night as Thursday Night Live events finished out with a block full of sand. Cade Beckley and Parker Gourley had a blast digging in the sand.

The beach party was in full swing along Madison Street in downtown Jefferson City Thursday night as Thursday Night Live events finished out with a block full of sand. Cade Beckley and Parker Gourley had a blast digging in the sand. Photo by Deborah Cote.

Thursday Night Live has grown substantially since its beginnings in 2009.

Event organizer Jill Snodgrass said June’s final Thursday Night Live brought close to 10,000 people to downtown Jefferson City for food, music and a one-night only Madison Street beach.

“I think people are realizing it’s just an awesome time to just get out and have a chance to socialize,” Snodgrass said. “It was an overwhelming success. I think everyone had a great time.”

But this year’s events didn’t start off on such a good note. The first week of Thursday Night was a complete wash out, Snodgrass said, because of heavy rain.

She said the event is self-sustaining, meaning all the proceeds from one event go to help pay for the costs of the next one. Because vendors and bands still had to be paid for their time, but no profit was being made in that first week, Snodgrass said they were in a risky situation.

“If we had had another week like that, the event would have been done for,” Snodgrass said.

But the weather cooperated the rest of the month, enabling the event to continue, and Snodgrass said she’s looking forward to continuing its growth in the community and attracting more musical acts from out of the area.

“Every year, we’re trying to grow the music,” Snodgrass said.

She said the community was very supportive of the event’s rule requiring anyone younger than 16 to be accompanied by an adult, after a few issues earlier this month caused concerns among organizers.

She said she’s grateful to the city and all its departments for the cooperation and assistance throughout each year’s Thursday Night Live.

“We couldn’t be more lucky as a community,” Snodgrass said. “That’s what makes this event work.”

Snodgrass noted the cleanup efforts after Thursday Night Live also have gone well. She said Friday morning there was “hardly a clue that we were there and had such a big party.”

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