To celebrate the “dog days of summer,” downtown Bryan businesses will be staying open later and offering specials for people this Thursday.

It is the first “Alive After 5” event for Bryan, something intended to bring more life into the downtown.

“A lot of towns do it, so it’s not my idea by any means,” said Teresa Maynard, an organizer of the event and owner of Kora Brew House & Wine Bar. “My husband and I moved here from Hamilton, and they did it in Hamilton and it was actually called Alive After 5 there, as well.”

The idea is to grow downtown businesses, she added. While it may start small, it could lead to later growth.

Other members of the Alive After 5 committee, Maynard said, have seen similar events in other locales, too, on different days of the month.

For Bryan, it will be the third Thursday of the month, starting this Thursday, Aug. 15.

Each month will have a theme, with this one being “dog days of summer,” followed by “kick off to fall,” “witches and warlocks,” “Black Thursday” and “Xmas on the square.” January through March will be excluded.

“At this point, we probably have 25 or more businesses around the square willing to do that,” Maynard said. “That’s exciting because I think, before, they felt they were on their own. So, to be able to come together, I really feel an excitement for it.”

In order to participate, the businesses need to do a few things.

One is they have to participate in the theme in whatever way they can think of. For this month’s theme, for example, it could include someone out in a dog costume promoting the business.

“We’re doing the pet parade as part of that, some businesses are going to be pet-friendly,” Maynard said.

Businesses will also provide light refreshments to offer a sense of hospitality.

“We want people to come in and kind of browse through downtown, have a snack, some are even serving wine,” she said.

The other thing businesses will do is offer some sort of discount, free samples or a raffle. Some will have live music.

Businesses participating in the “Alive After 5” will have a jug with three balloons sitting outside their business.

“We just really hope that people come down and support this event and get to know downtown, because that’s what we want,” Maynard said.

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