Thursdays on Main
Summer nights in Clear Lake are for music, food, and fun
One thing is for sure, there is no lack of enjoyable ways to spend your summer in North Iowa. One community, however, has taken their celebration of summer nights to a whole new level.
In Clear Lake, Thursday evening is the official start of the weekend, and they host Thursdays on Main each week to celebrate. The event, which is a mix of food, vendors, and fun, is held from 6-9pm along Main Ave in beautiful downtown Clear Lake. It’s the perfect event to cap a busy week, letting yourself sail into the weekend of fun in the sun at the lake.
Each week kicks off with special entertainment performances on the corner of Main & South 3rd Street. These range from performances by the Clear Lake Dance Team, fun scenes from local theatre groups, acrobatic acts from Turbo Tumbling and so much more.
You can peruse up and down Main Ave, checking out the various vendors lining the street. While there are plenty of places you can stop and shop, local businesses often set up fun activities in their booths. Games, trivia questions, contests to win prizes, there’s something for everyone. The vendors love to give away fun swag, so be sure to stop by!
And don’t count out the many businesses already along Main Ave. They join in the fun as well, often offering food and drink specials, or hosting a live music after hours party.
Each week presents live music at the intersection of Main Ave and South 4th Street. Listeners are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to enjoy the show. Bands from around the area take the stage at 7PM, their acts varying from oldies to country to rock and roll. On a still summer night, the music lingers in the air, swirling through the streets of Clear Lake for patrons to enjoy. There’s even a bit of a ‘dance floor’ area kept open for those who feel like getting their groove on.
Now, on to the best part… the food!
No Thursdays on Main is complete without sampling the goods from the numerous food trucks on site. Not only do mom and dad get the night off from cooking but clean-up is a breeze! The trucks vary by availability from week to week, but you can be sure there will something to satisfy every palette. Hot dogs, grilled burgers, walking tacos, amazing BBQ, or pork sandwiches can often be found. And of course, who can pass up a plate piled high with the Ritz’s famous onion rings? Not to mention, the ever-popular truck filled with ice cream and other sweet treats.
City Park is often packed with youngsters, squealing with delight as they play on the equipment. There are inflatables and other fun activities to keep them entertained for hours while their parents enjoy chatting with neighbors and friends.
When the sun begins to set over the lake and the band packs up for the night, crowds shift toward the bandshell, where it’s time for the movie in the park. Each week, a new feature plays on the big screen and people, young and old, cuddle up on blankets or in lawn chairs to enjoy the show. It’s all the nostalgia of a drive-in movie theatre and late nights at summer camp rolled into one. With the crickets chirping in the distance and the soothing view of the lake as the backdrop, it’s a time-honored tradition to enjoy the movie under the stars.
Whether you are five or eighty-five, Thursdays on Main is a fantastic summer activity in North Iowa. It’s the perfect way to sail into a great weekend at the lake!
Thursdays On Main is organized by the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and runs every Thursday evening throughout the summer. Check out the Chamber website for updated seasonal details.