After Lafayette students left at the close of last semester, downtown Easton raised its voice with live music, art exhibits, food and family-fun activities, all part of a monthly series of activities called Easton Out Loud.
Manager of special events and promotions of the Greater Easton Development Partnership (GEDP) Elizabeth Judge Wyant said that Easton Out Loud is intended to promote a greater vibrancy of shopping and culture in downtown Easton.
The series is put on by the GEDP and the Easton Business Association the fourth Friday of every month and began in May. Sponsored by Lafayette, the City of Easton, and other organizations, the next Easton Out Loud will take place Sept. 22.
“The streets of downtown Easton used to be filled with people before malls,” she said. “And then [the shops] slowed down, so we’re hoping [Easton Out Loud] begins a trend toward evening shopping in downtown.”
“There have been on average 50 businesses participating every month and we hope that that continues throughout the year and it gets a lot of people walking around downtown,” she added.
Rather than putting on many of their own events, the organizers of Easton Out Loud instead want people to partake in the events that shops around town put on.
“We don’t have too many activities of our own, but we encourage people to head on out and have some fun,” Wyant said. “We’re trying to get people to walk throughout downtown and explore our businesses.”
Live music plays in Centre Square “to give it a little vibrancy and a central place for people to check in with friends and head on out,” she said. Stores downtown can put on their own live music, have cookouts, offer henna tattoos, sidewalk photo booths and kid-friendly crafts and games.
Easton Out Loud can be put on rain or shine, since businesses can just move events indoors if weather turns awry, Wyant said.
She emphasized that Easton Out Loud is intended to not only connect residents with downtown but with each other. This past month’s events saw the beginning of Spot the Spot, a game where participants have to find the partner with the same “spot” as them as they walk around downtown.
“People stop by the information booth in centre square for details and pick up their spot, which is their sticker with their number on it. If I got 25, I was supposed to go out and look for the other person with the number 25 sticker. You’re supposed to meet them, take a selfie with them and post it to our social media,” she said.
Wyant added that she hopes to see a spike in attendance from Lafayette students who recently returned to Easton. Not only is it a way to get acclimated with downtown, she said, but it provides students a way to have a good time doing so.
She said she recommends students begin their journey in the Easton Public Market, which offers “bathrooms, food and drink. They almost always have live music, a beer garden out back and seating. It’s a great place to start and end the night.”
This past August’s Easton Out Loud saw the bands School of Rock and Jealous Monks performing. Upcoming in September are performers Jimmy Meyer and Steve Brosky.