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‘Thursdays on the Coast’ wraps up another year of talents

CARLSBAD — Thursdays on the Coast wrapped up its last venue for the year with another crowd pleaser Oct. 27. Visitors chatted with artists congregated at the Village Faire, strolled through galleries in the Village, listened to live music around town, shopped and dined. And children had opportunities to express their creative talents, too.
The monthly events, which run from March through October, are hosted by the Carlsbad Village Association. Cheryl Ehlers, event manager, said she remains delighted with the growth since the 2009 inception.
“Thursdays on the Coast is really all about infusing vitality into the business district and the best way to do that, that has been proven over and over again, is bringing art and culture together,” Ehlers said. “We opened the door up to artists and business owners to collaborate and create a center where people can engage new customers, and at the same time, artists can get exposure.”
Ehlers said visitors have been pleasantly surprised discovering how many galleries there are in the Village. In some instances, businesses have sold artwork displayed on their walls.
“There are so many good artists in North County,” she said.
Businesses such as HomeLife Village Realtors and Via Pointe Resort Services give artists a place to hang their art.
“Thursdays on the Coast has been a great event for us,” said Gary Nessim, president of HomeLife Village Realtors. “It’s great entertainment for people and shows off the Village in a nice, casual atmosphere.”
Gina Branciforte, of the family-owned Italian restaurant Branci Caldo Pomodoro, said she thoroughly enjoys the monthly event. “It brings people to Carlsbad,” she said.
While guests strolled along the Village sidewalks, they had the opportunity to hear musicians play in front of some storefronts. Janice Thompson shared her vocal and guitar talents, while Rick Hutchinson and Carmine Rocci of Rick and Carm played their folk, blues and ragtime tunes.
The Village Faire atmosphere was hopping with live music provided by KV and The Blues Academy.
Ehlers wants people to know that all the musicians who took part in Thursdays on the Coast volunteered their time. “There’s not one person there who wasn’t a volunteer and I feel so blessed for that.”
Folks also stopped by the New Village Arts Theatre Art Foundry to see featured artist Michael Striler and his works for the Thursday event. The affair was punctuated by a casual reception.
Ehlers said the 2011 event turnouts were impressive. In August, nearly 3,500 visitors took part in the venue. The positive feedback, she said, ranged from children enjoying the hands-on art creations to adults relaxing near the Village Faire fountain soaking up the culture of art and music.
Thursdays on the Coast had a long list of 2011 sponsors. Some included Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort, New Village Arts Theatre, Via Pointe Resort Services, Branci’s Caldo Pomodoro, Oceanside Art Gallery, Kinane Events Inc., HomeLife Village Realtors, Renaissance Institute of Music, Stardust, SIMA, Vicky Kays, Liberty Tax, COAL Gallery, Vintage Bistro, Señor Grubby’s, Lynn Forbes Sculpture, Carlsbad Chocolate Bar, The Phantom Gallery, Snyder Art and Design, Olde Vintage Antiques, Lavender Blue Boutique, Paradise Cottage, Carlsbad Village Theatre, and more.
“I really want to thank the volunteers and sponsors because without them this event wouldn’t be here,” Ehlers said. “It’s appreciated not only by me, but appreciated by the public, and it’s important that they know that.”