Downtown Alive extended through Thanksgiving

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WWAY) — It’s gotten a thumbs up from customers, business owners, and people all over Wilmington.

Now it’s gotten a further thumbs up from the city to extend the weekly event through Thanksgiving.

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“We were hopeful when we started this, but the outcome has far exceeded anything that any of us could have anticipated,” said Terry Espy of the Downtown Business Alliance.

Espy says that the DBA has their eyes on a more permanent project, but it won’t be obtrusive.

“Not permanent street closures,” Espy said. “We’re not going there. What we are going to work toward, is a permanent parklet concept, so businesses could possibly participate on a 6-month or 12-month basis and pay the city money for the spaces they’re using.”

Restaurant owners like Hayley Jensen say they would welcome an opportunity to keep using their parklet, which gives them more outdoor seating.

“Any type of expanded seating we can do,” Jensen said. “It creates such a festive atmosphere.”

Everyone got a hint of the cooler weather right around the corner Friday night, but Espy says some business owners have already started to think about buying outdoor heaters.

Jensen is one of them.

“We’ve talked about just getting some heaters for outside,” Jensen said. “We plan on opening the dining room very limitedly to allow some guests inside. You can see tonight’s a little chilly, but it’s not slowing it down.”

Espy says they actually got a check from a customer today who said they want to see Downtown Alive continue as long as possible.