WILTON – Downtown storefronts have new paint, the weather report forecasts a warm, dry day and marigolds are ready to plant for Wilton’s first Third Thursday.

Evenings of entertainment and food to share with friends and family, four Third Thursday events begin this week on May 21 and continue on the third Thursday of each month through August.

The first event starts early in the day when school children will be bussed to Bass Park between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. to plant the marigolds they have tended in their classrooms over the last few weeks as part of the program, Miracle of Marigolds. Some eighth-grade students from Mt. Blue Middle School will help with the planting, said organizer Betty Colley Shibles.

Over 1,000 seedlings were placed in small paper cups by students at Academy Hill and Cushing Schools. Middle School students and Rocky Hill Landscape grew an additional 1,000 marigolds.

The flowers have been removed from the classrooms and will grace Bass Park while others are planted in downtown flower boxes, at Academy Hill School, the town office and various places around town, she said.

The downtown will come alive from 5:30 to 8 p.m. as Wilton hosts its first Third Thursday with a Farmers Market, display of antique and special interest cars, food vendors, entertainers, square dancing, hula hoops and disc throwing. Many of the activities are scheduled to take place around the monument and Key Bank area, she said. Some downtown businesses will be open.

An art show follows school and will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Academy Hill School.

Wilton Historical Museum will be open from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“We’re very excited,” Shibles said. “It’s a good opportunity to hang out with friends, get something to eat and watch the activities.”

The Academy Hill School Chorus will perform at the Congregational Church. The church bell will ring at 6:15 to bring parents and friends to the church to hear them perform.

High school students Josh Hiltz on piano and singer Eric Mason will also entertain with jazz impromptu numbers, she said.

As the children leave the church, high school students will provide hula hoops for them to proceed to the monument area for a Hula Hoop Jamboree and square dancing for all ages, she said. The Middle School students will learn a simple square dance routine and participate, she added.

“It’s very important that young people are involved,” she said. “It’s the idea of showing the next generation what you can do by bringing people together.”

The entertainment will vary for each Thursday event. People are already calling and organizers have a list of ideas started, she said.

To top off the event, food vendors will be on the streets for people to pick up something to eat, sit and watch the events or they can go into the downtown restaurants, she said. The Congregational Church will offer wraps while Rick’s Market and the Boy Scouts are planning sub sandwiches. Students from Mt. Blue High School are planning to sell popcorn while Dutch Treat will make smoothies. Mandy’s Pizza, The New Great Wall and Calzolaio Pasta Co. will also participate.

Just in case, a raindate of May 28 is also planned.

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