This week, the Conway Downtown Partnership is kicking off its first monthly Third Thursday.

On Thursday, merchants in downtown Conway will have special discounts in an effort to encourage shoppers to choose downtown on a regular basis. Kim Williams, executive director of the Conway Downtown Partnership, said the third Thursday of each month will be a day full of special incentives, activities, etc.

The idea behind Third Thursday, she said, is "There's always something going on downtown on the third Thursday. Eventually we will have some more activities to go along with it. Now we're getting our retailers to go along with it and our restaurants. It's just a way for people to come downtown and each lunch, eat dinner, eat breakfast, enjoy the shopping, experience downtown, for one day out of the month each month. Just make it a common practice."

Williams said local artists from the Conway Alliance for the Arts and Conway League of Artists will display their work in participating stores and the foyer at Michelangelo's.

She said in coming months she will also encourage involvement by "other folks who would like to perform, exhibit their art, either visual or performing arts."

Williams was working toward scheduling musical performances this week, she added. She said customers should "look for merchants to host lunch and learns and have special Third Thursday discounts; look for breakfast, lunch and dinner specials at our partner restaurants as well."

She continued, "The point of it is to encourage people to make Thursdays, especially the Third Thursday, kind of a destination. Keep it on their calendar, keep it ingrained that there's always something going on in downtown on Thursdays."

She invited the public to view the Conway Downtown Partnership's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ads/adboard/#/pages/Conway-Downtown-Partnership/51979909363?ref=ts

(Staff writer Rachel Parker Dickerson can be reached by e-mail at rachel.dickerson@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)