Local business owners have organized the inaugural “Social on the Square” event in an effort to lure people to downtown Bowling Green after the COVID-19 pandemic devastated many small businesses.

The May 8 event will feature every business surrounding Fountain Square Park having one-day special deals and prices.

Back Down South owner Kristen Robinette said business downtown has been difficult in recent months because of the pandemic.

Robinette helped organize “Social on the Square” as a way for everyone to bounce back together.

“We were just trying to come up with something to bring people back downtown after COVID-19, and all the previous construction that was done down here,” Robinette said. “This is a great chance to get people back after graduation weekend and before Mother’s Day. ... We want people to visit every spot. This has been a community effort between everyone.”

Robinette said the event will open at 9 a.m. with a free yoga session for the public on the square.

Back Down South is a boutique specializing in women’s clothing and has been on the square for five years.

Other businesses that will be offering special deals along with Back Down South include 440 Main, Candle Makers on the Square, Barbara Stewart Interiors, Cliffs of Moher Irish Pub, Mary Jane’s Chocolates, Spencer’s Coffee and others.

The Hearth Room owner Jessica Hayes helped organize the event.

Hayes sees the event as a great opportunity for her home goods store, which recently opened on the square.

“After everyone has been stuck in the house for the most part this past year, we thought it would be a great time with this great weather for everyone to get back together,” Hayes said. “I hope people will come out and really enjoy it. There are still some stores I haven’t even visited yet.”

The Heath Room is not the only business looking to use “Social on the Square” as a springboard.

The Knotty Pretzel will open its doors for the first time May 1, and owner Chelsea Adams sees the event as a great way to introduce the community to her food service that specializes in made-from-scratch, artisan-style pretzels that feature unique flavors.

“I think it’s going to bring curiosity toward our business,” Adams said. “We are hoping that everyone loves it and keeps coming back. Our endgame is to keep growing into the future.”

Adams said she will be expanding the menu with different foods that compliment pretzels as a way to better entice the downtown lunch crowd.

“We are also looking forward to add a bar in the future as well,” Adams said. “ We really want to be going for a sit-down restaurant feel.”

To keep up with deals and prices, visit the “Social on the Square” Facebook page and the social media accounts of each downtown business.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.