Mt. Vernon Register-News

May 1, 2013

First Fridays expanded through fall

By RICK HAYES rick.hayes@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corp. will kick off its annual First Fridays event beginning this weekend.

According to the DMDC, the First Friday event was created to increase public awareness of the many positives features and improvements of the downtown area and the community.

“First Friday has been very successful to accomplish our goals,” said Barbara D’Arcy, event coordinator. “It put more of a focus on downtown, the things that are there now, and the growth we are experiencing.”

First Fridays is held the first Friday of each month through the summer months. First Fridays is being extended through the fall.

“We actually extended it by several months,” D’Arcy said. “Last year was a trial, and we had it from June through August. This year we decided we wanted to start a bit sooner and extend it through October. That way we’ll have some cool Fridays to go along with the summer heat.”

The event, to be held from 5 p.m. to sundown, is a celebration of arts and music in the community, with the public invited to a family-friendly environment with streets lined up with local artists and musicians.

D’Arcy said the musicians may include some of those who participated last year, including a blues trio, guitarists and soloists. The art will vary from crafts to fine arts, jewelry makers and various media on canvass. Cortez Hodges, co-chair of the event, demonstrated a pottery wheel at last year’s event, and is expected to give demonstrations again this year.

The area includes Ninth Street from Harrison Street from the north to Jordan Street on the south. An information booth will be available. Several vendors offered food samples last year. D’Arcy said she is still working on that issue, and while food booths may not be available initially, there’s a chance it will be offered later.

Attendees are also invited to visit the newly-opened Upstart Art Mart on Broadway.

“We want to try to conduct the flow of traffic from the north corridor to the Art Mart information booth,” D’Arcy said. In case of inclement weather, the Granada Theater will be open.

“We’re very focused on building downtown into a dining, entertainment center. We think we have a good art culture in Mt. Vernon, feeding off the various events at Cedarhurst. We want to expand that base to make Mt. Vernon an art mecca. There are great restaurants in downtown, and as time goes on, we’ll have additional art community buildings. We want to help forward that whole movement and get people outside, enjoying the city and what we have to offer,” she concluded.