Thursday night live mashes food, community, music

By Blair Johnson

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Thursday Night Live is a weekly event held in downtown Lexington where non-profits, food and music meet to promote musicians and the work of non-profits.

This year’s season began on Sept. 3 and will go until Oct. 22. The event is hosted by Central Bank and typically draws in dozens and sometimes hundreds of people every week.

The band will go on at 5:30 p.m. and food will be served beginning at 4:30 p.m.

“This is the 20th Anniversary of Thursday Night Live. The planning takes place year-round,” said Laura Farnsworth, the senior events coordinator for Downtown Lexington Corporation. “Thursday Night Live is beneficial because it brings people downtown. They have a great time and also see the exciting things downtown has to offer.”

Each week, Thursday Night Live pairs with a non-profit organization. This week it will be The Nest, a local nonprofit organization that provides a safe place for education, counseling, and support to children and families in crisis.

The non-profit people work as bartenders, and each tip goes directly to the non-profit of the week. This week, Pepsi is allowing The Nest to sell their products at their table for $1 and all of the proceeds go directly to their organization.

“This is a great way for us to talk about our program and what we do,” said Rosie Harris, officer manager of The Nest. “It is an easy way to get a lot of people together all at once to get the word out.”

Thursday Night Live provided $25,000 to non-profits last year alone, according to Farnsworth.

This week, Big Black Cadillac, a band from Bardstown, will perform. It is their first time at Thursday Night Live.

“We started out as a blues band, but struggled to get people to follow us. We wanted people to get up and dance and have a good time. Over the years, our style evolved into what it is today, which is a variation of funk and various other sounds,” said Patrick Dillard, the band’s general manager. “We play everything from Kool and the Gang to Bruno Mars.”

The band, founded in 2001, hopes that Thursday’s event will boost their fan base and allow them to show off their musical talent for future gigs.

“We want to get noticed by bar managers so that we have a chance of getting gigs in the local bar scene,” Dillard said.