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STAFF PHOTO/BROOKE WILLIAMS Monica LaBar-Hughes, owner of Monzie’s Floral Design, is one of many local business owners planning events for 4th Fridays.

Every fourth Friday through September, Wyoming County businesses are staying open late and hosting special events for customers.

The Tunkhannock “4th Fridays” Series is a renewed effort from the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce to promote shopping local.

“We did run it last year on kind of a quieter, smaller scale, and just asked the stores to stay open until 8:00,” explained Chamber of Commerce President Gina Suydam. “This year it seems to be catching on a little bit more with the stores not only staying open until 8:00, but maybe planning some events of their own.”

Outside of 2018’s 4th Friday efforts, she said the chamber last ran the initiative around six years ago.

Some of the upcoming events for this Friday, May 24, include a pop-up market at Mercantile 22 from 4 to 9 p.m. featuring antique and vintage items for sale. Samples of Deep Roots Hard Cider will also be available.

At Monzie’s Floral Design, customers can enjoy a wine tasting with Hidden Creek Winery, as well as marinade and sauce tastings with Wyldflower Farms from 5 to 8 p.m.

Both Hidden Creek Winery and Wyldflower Farms will have products available for sale, and customers can also browse new gift items at Monzie’s.

At prehempt CBD Boutique, a new business on East Tioga Street specializing in cannabidiol products, customers can enjoy a cup of CBD-infused tea or coffee from 4 to 9 p.m.

Roughly 40 businesses, both chamber members and non-members in Wyoming County, are participating in 4th Fridays.

The businesses also aren’t limited to downtown Tunkhannock.

“We really branched out and asked other businesses throughout the area to stay open and support our 4th Friday effort,” she said. “It’s really about community and growing retail and looking at Wyoming County as a destination to come visit.”

Suydam and others at the Chamber of Commerce often hear that people are unable to shop local because of their work schedules.

“It’s very hard for them to get there Monday through Friday when the businesses are open 9-5 and they’re working,” she said. “This gives a little opportunity to get downtown to shop local.”

The 4th Fridays series will also give people something to do on Friday evenings with their friends and families, adding to opportunities already available like movie showings at the Dietrich Theater.

“It will hopefully draw some tourists to come to Tunkhannock and visit the town and see how great it is,” Suydam added. “I think it coordinates well with the movie times. The evening movies start at 7:00, so you can come right after work, shop and go to a movie.”

To a degree, the event is modeled after Scranton’s First Fridays, but without an art component or specific theme.

“Our focus is really ‘Tunkhannock is a unique little town. Come and join us and be a part of that camaraderie,’” Suydam said.

Fourth Fridays are scheduled for May 24, June 28, July 26, Aug. 23 and Sept. 27.

The chamber will also hold a 4th Friday contest.

“If you turn in a receipt from a retailer and a receipt from a restaurant on a 4th Friday, you’ll be entered to win some great local gift cards and prizes,” Suydam said.

To find out which businesses are holding events each month, visit the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and click on the event “Tunkhannock 4th Friday Series.”

Suydam said she hopes 4th Fridays can bring more positive energy into town and showcase everything great that Tunkhannock has to offer.

“We’ve had some stores close, but there are stores that are still here and they need your support to continue to thrive,” she said.