If the Retail Council of the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce has its way, Thursday nights in town are going to be alive and hopping.

Beginning this summer and through the end of the year, participating Chamber stores will be open late on Thursdays —  some as late as 8.

“Ridgefield Local Thursdays” is promoting evening shopping followed by dining out in a local restaurant as part of the Retail Council’s Shop Local initiative.

The July 18 kickoff to Ridgefield Local Thursdays will feature wine and cheese parties at participating stores from the Main Street area and Marketplace at Copps Hill. These include Olley Court, Lucy’s, Lyn Evans, The Little House Shoppe, Craig’s Fine Jewelry, nancy O, Hutton’s Fine Menswear, Books on the Common, Children’s Cottage at the Carriage House, and more.

“We are hoping to start a new trend,” said Christy Kinsman, co-chairman of the Retail Council and owner of The Little House Shoppe.  “This is a great opportunity for local businesses to reach out to the community with expanded hours and a great opportunity for residents to get in some shopping and dining on a Thursday night. It’s a win-win for everyone.”