The Jackson Downtown Association will conduct its third First Thursday event of the year on July 2, with a theme of “Light Up Downtown Jackson 2020,” geared to provide a celebratory experience heading into the 4th of July holiday weekend.

First Thursday events were conducted in both February and March, but none have been held since due to the COVID-19 situation. First Thursday events – so called because they are held on the first Thursday evening of most months – are geared to bring the public to the downtown businesses and offices through special themed events and activities.

The public is invited to visit participating businesses in the period from 4 to 7 p.m. to take advantage of specials, prize drawings, crafts, giveaways, food and drink, free red, white and blue glow necklaces, and glow-in-the-dark event T-shirts. The T-shirts are currently on sale at the Total Media office at 295 E. Main St. and can also be purchased during the event. On the day of the event, the Downtown Jackson Association Facebook page will be listing the participating businesses and their respective plans.

One of the highlighted activities will be a Scavenger Hunt. Groups of 4 to 6 persons are invited to stop at participating businesses (look for the First Thursday logo on the door) and take a group photo at each of these locations. Groups should then email their photos along with a contact name and phone number to: info@downtownjacksonohio.com by 7 p.m.

Total Media, which includes The Telegram, The Radio and Zip Printing and is located downtown at 295 E. Main St., will be involved with a special broadcast on WKOV (96.7 FM) from 5 to 9 p.m. from the WKOV studio. The broadcast will feature special patriotic music, but the big attraction will be a Nutt Hutt Reunion. The Nutt Hutt was the moniker for WKOV’s highly popular morning show from 20-plus years ago.

The host and orchestrator of the Nutt Hutt, J.J. Hale, will lead the reunion broadcast and will bring back the personalities who were staples on his show, including Rodney Tomblin (Porterhouse), Rhonda Burtrand (The Lovely Rhonda) and Chris Henry (Biscuit). Burtrand and Henry have remained on The Radio/Total Media staff over the years and Hale has since returned to have a contributing role as well. The winner of the Scavenger Hunt will also be announced on this special broadcast by 9 p.m.

However, the Nutt Hut Reunion is just one of many activities which will take place at downtown businesses.

Karisa DeLay, co-president of the Jackson Downtown Association and owner of the LOCAL Salon and Spa in downtown Jackson, appeared on the Channel 15 Morning Show to promote and provide a preview of the First Thursday activities. A sampling of these activities include:

-- A new business, Tasty Days of Old at 235 Broadway St., will have its opening day in conjunction with First Thursday. Tasty Days of Old is a candy and toy store specializing in historical treats from Biblical times through the contemporary era. Aside from the edible offerings, the new business will also include an assortment of puzzles, stuffed animals, board games, children’s books and even an entire section dedicated to gag gifts.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on July 2, the store will offer customers 30 percent off on all candies in the First in History section up to the Civil War era. That evening, as part First Thursday event, and to help celebrate Independence Day, the business will have Captain America on hand to greet the youngsters.

-- There will be disc jockeys spinning the tunes at Michael’s Ice Cream and the Corner Pub.

-- There will be special window displays at Kelly Wiley Realty and Northwest Titles as both businesses will be handing out free popsicles.

-- There will be a cookout-style dinner at the Jackson Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 145 quarters on Pearl Street.

-- Apple City Artisans will be holding a sidewalk sale.

-- The Kiwanis Club of Jackson Area members will be present and the organization and will sponsor activities as well.

DeLay explained the event will be one the city can be proud of as they are returning to a new normal and hopes everyone has a good time.