What is Second Saturday?

Mary McMahon

Second Saturday is, as the term would suggest, the second Saturday of a month. Some communities designate this day for specific community events, with the goal of encouraging the population to get active and explore their community. In regions where several neighboring communities want to hold similar events, they may agree to stagger them, holding First Friday, Third Sunday, and so forth to spread the events out so that people can participate in all of them.

Discounts on various items are common at stores participating in Second Saturday.
Discounts on various items are common at stores participating in Second Saturday.

One of the most common Second Saturday events is a gallery walk, often designated with signs, chalk drawings on the pavement, and so forth so that people can easily identify participating establishments. Neighboring art galleries may collectively agree to hold art openings on this day, keeping their doors open late into the evening with receptions so that people can look at the art and meet the artist. Live music, food, and other forms of entertainment may be offered. Bookstores may also get in on the act with author appearances, poetry readings, and so forth, tying events into the arts theme. Other retailers may provide space on their walls for art displays and stay open late as well.

Restaurants can use Second Saturday events to attract new customers by offering food specials.
Restaurants can use Second Saturday events to attract new customers by offering food specials.

Usually, organizing this type of event requires a cluster of businesses close together that are willing to coordinate. In compact downtown districts, the day may be marked with lots of pedestrians mingling on the sidewalks and in the streets, and some cities actually close down intersections to encourage community gathering. Coffeehouses, restaurants, and other establishments may also stay open late on Second Saturday, and participants may be able to go dancing, attend art workshops, and engage in other activities.

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Local bars may have drink specials during a Second Saturday event.
Local bars may have drink specials during a Second Saturday event.

Many communities tie the day into tourism promotions, featuring their Saturday events in brochures designed to attract people to the area. Some savvy hotels and inns even offer arts-themed packages tied to the even, in which people who visit on a that weekend get tickets to a theater production or concert on Friday as part of their stay.

Second Saturday activities can provide socialization opportunities for seniors.
Second Saturday activities can provide socialization opportunities for seniors.

One advantage to designating a specific day for arts-related events is that the day gathers momentum over time. People don't need to remember specific dates of gallery openings and other arts events, because they can assume that these events will take place on Second Saturday. Promotional materials for also never get old, as long as addresses and phone numbers of listed establishments are the same, and visitors often enjoy the continuity and consistency, knowing that there will always be something to do on that day of the month if they want to visit.

Some artists may demonstrate their skills live during a Second Saturday event.
Some artists may demonstrate their skills live during a Second Saturday event.

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Discussion Comments

anon63333

why give a holiday on second saturday?

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