If April showers can bring May flowers, then just imagine what April events can bring to Main Street. Month after month, local businesses, nonprofits and chambers of commerce work to put on entertaining events that keep the community bustling and lively, but there’s something to be said for April. Spring is in the air – or perhaps it’s still on the way – and days start to get longer, as farmers markets start to reopen and outdoor attractions seem more appealing once again. Not all of this month’s events will take place outside, but they all will give back to the community and local businesses in some way.
Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival
Friday, April 15 & Saturday, April 16
A tradition for more than 20 years, the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival has become one of the most popular music attractions in the south. The festival will take place in downtown Natchitoches on the banks of the Cane River and will feature live music on four stages. Although it’s billed as a jazz and R&B festival, the lineup features a wide range of artists, including local names like Lainey Wilson and touring out-of-towners like Grand Funk Railroad and Midnight Star. The event is sponsored in part by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission.
Antique Boat & Classic Car Show
Saturday, April 16
Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Apalachicola has a long maritime history. That history is celebrated year after year with the Antique Boat & Classic Car Show, featuring everything from Model Ts to the hand-built Apalachicola Traders’ Canoe. In addition to seeing the vessels and vehicles, visitors can learn about the maritime industry’s role in Apalachicola’s modern community through demonstrations by local boat builders. Find more details from Historic Apalachicola.
Beer & Ballet
Saturday, April 30
Rock Springs, Wyoming
Beer and ballet might not seem like the most common pairing, the residents of this Wyoming town probably aren’t complaining. Beginning at 7 p.m. at the local Broadway Theater, Beer & Ballet caters to a younger, more casual crowd than a typical ballet. The show will be put on by the local Ballet West troupe, while the beer will come from Rock Springs’ Bitter Creek Brewery. More information is available from Downtown Rock Springs.
Gears & Beers Bar Crawl
Saturday, April 30
Vermonters will have their own opportunity to try some local brews at the first-ever Gears and Beers Bar Crawl, in support of the local mountain bike club. Local restaurants, including Black Back Pub, The Reservoir and Prohibition Pig, will donate five percent of their draft sales to the club. More than 80 beers will be available, with many of them brewed locally in Vermont. More information is available from Revitalizing Waterbury and the Waterbury Area Trail Alliance.
The Big Parade
Saturday, April 30
An annual tradition in the college town of Oberlin, the Big Parade encourages people to get out and celebrate spring in whatever way makes sense to them. Students of all ages, locals and community groups build always-creative, sometimes-wacky floats and parade through the down as part of an all-day celebration. Beyond the parade, the festival will feature a free barbecue lunch, games and more. More information is available from the Oberlin Business Partnership.
Even if you’re still waiting on the warmer weather, soak up the springtime sun and find cause for celebration this season. With local businesses around, there’s always something new to do or explore downtown. While you’re there, find a favorite local restaurant or coffee shop to work Main Street into your regular routine.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering for a business membership. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local to join the movement.