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HAMMONTON - Third Thursday put a spotlight on attractions in Downtown Hammonton during an evening of history, shopping, dining and enjoying art in the downtown area.

Some of the main events of the evening included the opening reception for the Noyes Gallery Exhibition, “Hammonton: 150 Years of Industry” at Kramer Hall, 30 Front St.; the “Women in the Arts” exhibit at the Hammonton Arts Center, 219 Bellevue Ave., and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Bow Wow Boutique & Pet Supply, 17 N. Egg Harbor Rd.

Photographs and paintings of landmark buildings, vintage cameras and other Hammonton artifacts tell the story of industry in the town at the Noyes exhibition.

A slide show of old photographs played throughout the exhibit opening. Visitors were invited to identify people and places in the photographs to help with Stockton University’s Hammonton History Project. The slide show will pop up at various Sesquicentennial Events throughout the year.

The public is invited to attend Digitization Day 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 2 at Kramer Hall. At the event, personal images will be digitized to be included in the town history project, and everyone will receive a USB drive with their images saved on it. To register, email Ginna.Petrillo@stockton.edu or call 609-626-3840.

View Digitization Day photos and slide show photos at www.stockton.edu/hammontonhistory

Hammonton: 150 Years of Industry exhibit is open through April and will reopen June-August. A second Sesquicentennial exhibit, 150 Years of Agriculture will open in September.

The “Women in Arts” exhibit at the Hammonton Arts Center features 52 pieces by more than 30 female artists. The annual exhibit includes pigment, photography and 3-D pieces with a variety of subject matters, and it will be on display for the rest of the month.

“The variation of techniques and styles is very interesting,” said Vicki Lewis of Mays Landing, a volunteer at the Hammonton Arts Center.

One wall serves as a tribute to local artist and longtime Art Center member Deb Spinella who passed away last year.

This month’s ribbon cutting celebrated the opening of another new business in the downtown, Bow Wow Boutique & Pet Supply. Owned by Patty Smith of Hammonton, the shop offers specialty dog and cat food and treats as well as a variety of pet-themed décor and gifts.

Smith discovered her love of dogs as a young child. “I got my first dog when I was six, and I’ve been smitten ever since,” she said.

Shoppers will find everything from pet-themed coffee mugs to magnets to yard decorations. Dogs are more than welcome. In fact, each one receives a treat and gets their photo posted on the store’s Facebook page.

Although the downtown shops were quiet, those who came out for Third Thursday enjoyed a host of free activities.

Talon Jones, 11, of Mullica filled Bellevue Avenue with the St. Patrick’s Day spirit as he played his bag pipes in a street side performance.

At the Toy Market, 204 Bellevue Ave., a group of women gathered around a table and exchanged conversation during a coloring event for adults. At the Noyes Museum Shop, 5 S. Second St., visitors browsed through locally made products and were invited to use props to participate in a photo shoot inspired by Julie Taymor’s film, “Frida.”

“The beautiful spring weather makes it nice to get out,” said Lisa Kaufman of Egg Harbor Township as she browsed through the pieces at the Noyes Museum Shop.

Olivia Bellana, also known as Chef Bell, of Kitchen 19, 19 S. Second St., taught visitors how to make sweet and savory gourmet popcorn. Ivy Enders, 4, and Ace Enders, 6, both of Hammonton grinned as they filled paper bags with popcorn, topped them with butter and seasoning, and shook the bags. Then, with anticipation, they peeked inside the bag and happily took a sample.

Many shops and restaurants stay open late and offer discounts during Third Thursday, which is held 6-9 p.m. in Downtown Hammonton every month. For more information, visit www.downtownhammonton.com

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