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Alfresco Thursdays

July 2 @ 5:00 pm - August 27 @ 8:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 5:00 pm on Thursday, repeating indefinitely


Essex Board of Trade Hosts Alfresco Thursdays, July 2 – August 27!

“This year, Alfresco Thursdays holds special significance as Connecticut cautiously reopens businesses post quarantine,” says Colt Taylor, President of Essex Board of Trade (EBOT). “With social distancing the new norm, the outdoor experience of Alfresco Thursdays provides the community and merchants an opportunity to reconnect safely and responsibly. Community is more important than ever…we hope Alfresco Thursdays will bring families and neighbors to Essex Village for social-distancing fun, while also paving the way for economic recovery in our beautiful small town.”

Hello, on week six of Alfresco Thursdays…EBOT’s first event in August!

Post tropical storm Isaias, all Essex Village shops and restaurants are open and Park & Recreation will host its first “Yoga in the Park” tonight!!! (What could be better than Yoga and a Lobster Roll from The Essex???) As for live music, Connecticut River Museum’s “Thursdays on the Dock” is sold out, but Olive Oyl’s has available seating for a patio performance with BraidenSunshine – 2015 semi-finalist on NBC’s The Voice.

“People trust influencers like they trust their best friend.”
As for Alfresco Thursdays advertising, I’m sharing two updates from the marketing influencercategory — the-e-list and Unlocking Connecticut. Both are considered marketing influencers — social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from individuals with a dedicated social following. Social influencers represent a rapidly growing category of media spending — valued for trusted content that attracts an engaged and loyal audience with a high likelihood to act on content posted across blogs, Instagram, Facebook and e-blast platforms.


EBOT is familiar with the-e-list, which Erica has published for 10+ years to become the go-to-source for information along the Connecticut shoreline. This week’s August 4 issue includes the fifth of six ads for Alfresco Thursdays. Click link to view, and then click here to see the event description on the Experience Essex website.

Unlocking Connecticut

Perhaps less familiar to EBOT is Unlocking Connecticut, an increasingly popular Connecticut travel/adventure/lifestyle blog published by two fun-loving friends, Lora & Bev. Unlocking Connecticuthas earned a partnership in Connecticut Tourism’s (CTvisit.com) “CT Ambassadors” program, due to its smart and lively content. The audience skews toward the Hartford/New Haven areas, offering a balance to the-e-list and a new audience for Experience Essex.

Click here to access Unlocking Connecticut’s July 25th blog, “Alfresco Thursdays in Essex.” While Unlocking Connecticut’s visit to Alfresco Thursdays didn’t afford time for a stop into all participating merchants, the feature provides a lively taste of Essex that is certain to establish awareness and generate visitation to our spirited town — on Alfresco Thursdays and beyond. I hope you’ll take some time to browse the site…it’s chock full of good stuff!

Valley Courier

In the newspaper category, Alfresco Thursdays has advertised in the Valley Courier. This week’s August 4 edition includes our fourth and final ad in its regular position, on the high-visibility “Index” page (page 5). In addition, Alfresco Thursdays received a press mention in the “Arts & Events” calendar listing on page 30.

Dine Alfresco & Support Local! 

Alfresco Thursdays boasts numerous patio and dockside dining venues from the top to bottom of Main Street in Essex Village, at Olive Oyl’s Creative Cuisine, The Griswold Inn, Carlson’s Landing, and Siren – a new marine restaurant at Safe Harbor Essex Island. To ramp up the alfresco spirit, The Essex restaurant will feature a pop-up experience at Main Street Park, where Chef Colt Taylor will be serving his award-winning “Connecticut Lobster Rolls.”

Retail open until 8pm! 

Essex village shops are open until 8pm. Many are offering sidewalk shopping to maximize social distancing and renew customer relationships.

Live Music 

Live music is a highlight of Alfresco Thursdays on various dates and locations:

  • An 11-year tradition, Connecticut River Museum is hosting their weekly, free to the public concert series, “Thursdays on the Dock.” Beer, wine, snacks and dinner are available for purchase. Just bring a blanket and lawn chair to enjoy the music and spectacular waterfront views!  Click here to make a reservation for 5:30pm.
  • Olive Oyl’s is kicking up the alfresco experience with live music too! New this year are sophisticated box dinners and a social-distanced seating arrangement that overflows from the patio into the dressed-up parking area. Visit Instagram/Facebook for the latest menu and performance updates.
  • A must stop on the alfresco trail is the Melanie Carr Gallery, North Main Street, for some New Orleans style, honky-tonk blues piano by Jon Gordon!

Outdoor Yoga July 30 – September 3

Outdoor Yoga in Main Street Park with certified yoga instructor Angela Stevens. This is a 45-minute class inspired by nature. Start time is 5pm (except 8/27 is 4pm); cost is $55.00. Click here to register at Essex Park & Recreation. *Bring Yoga Mat*

Free Hourly Boat Dockage! 

Safe Harbor Essex Island offers FREE hourly dockage from 4pm to 9pm. Why not travel to Alfresco Thursdays by water for the ultimate outdoor experience? Just call the marina to reserve and mention “Alfresco Thursdays!”  860-767-2483 or VHF Channel 9.

Enjoy a Breath of Fresh Air / Socially Distance & Stay Safe!

EBOT members adhere to an “Alfresco Alliance” for post quarantine safety – all participating restaurants and merchants are implementing CDC guidelines. Additionally, EBOT requires Alfresco Thursday attendees to follow CDC protocol for Social Distancing and Mask Wearing.

Have a great, covid-safe, Alfresco Thursdays!  Best, Susan



July 2 @ 5:00 pm
August 27 @ 8:00 pm
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Essex Village
69 Nott Lane
Essex, CT 06426 United States
+ Google Map
(860) 767-3904

Contact Us

Essex Board of Trade, Inc., P.O. Box 322
Essex, CT 06426 860-767-3904 or email message@experienceessex.com


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