Jun 16, 2013

First Fridays a good way to “support the town”

BY BOB ROBINSON

ASSOC. EDITOR
GREENVILLE - “The entertainment starts at seven but our First Friday event starts at six… that gives everyone a chance to do some shopping and dining downtown. Then they can enjoy the music afterwards,” said Amber Garrett, Main Street Greenville’s new executive director.

Many of the visitors said they go to First Fridays because it’s a good way to support the town.

Chelsea Westfall of The Coffee Pot said they have a good crowd on First Fridays, especially when the weather’s nice.

“This is a good idea,” she said. “It gets the community out to see what we have to offer.”

An A&B Coffee & Cake Company customer, Brittany Force, said she liked First Fridays, noting it was a “nice thing to do.”

“We go around to the stores, then we end up here. This is a nice place to be,” she added.

Visitors walking the sidewalks of South Broadway might notice a sign in front of one of the stores that says “Chocolate Covered Bacon.” Candy Bouquet owner Annette Billenstein said the sign definitely brings people in. She noted that in some shops it was called the “muddy pig.”

“If people don’t want to eat it,” she added, “they definitely want to see it.”

A Candy Bouquet customer, Amanda Hines, wasn’t too sure she wanted to try it but allowed herself to be persuaded…

She now swears by it.

Greenville Public Library kicked off the day with its First Friday Lunch on the Lawn. More than 200 people enjoyed the entertainment on what turned out to be a comfortable day with a soft breeze.

According to Susi Halley, Brenda’s Beanery supplied 150 lunches. All were sold. Different coffee shops will prepare the food for the remaining two events in July and August.

“Last year we did one First Friday,” Halley said. “This year we’re doing three. This one plus July 5 and Aug. 2.”

To some it is a family tradition.

Lisa Zink said she and her family would attend First Fridays even if it rained, and noted there was one year when the weather was decidedly uncooperative.

“We were still here,” she said. “I think this is a good way to support the town.”

When asked if the event was held more often, even two or three times a month, would she and her family support it? She said definitely yes.

According to Garrett, Main Street Greenville is always looking for suggestions and willingly considers them, but added it was not likely they would be able to add more Friday night events in the foreseeable future.

Counting 11 First Fridays (every month except January) and 22 Farmer’s Markets from June 1 to Oct. 12, the non-profit handles or helps with more than 40 events throughout the year.

Chad Lemons and Tim Yount were the performers at the library. Evening performers were Ben Crawford at The Coffee Pot, Noah Back at Brenda’s Beanery, Nobody Special at Montage CafĂ©, Nick Good at Bread of Life, Cinder Home at A&B Coffee & Cake Co., Adam Liette at Merle Norman, Shannon Clark at The Ivy League, Frohna & Warner at Sweet Annie’s Cabin and Russell James at Third Street Market.

More than 200 people gathered for lunch and entertainment at Greenville Public Library’s First Friday event June 7. Chad Lemons and Tim Yount performed.

Dave Ernst, Greenville National Bank, grilled free hot dogs and burgers. Donations were requested for Greenville Main Street to help fund future events.

Shannon Clark at The Ivy League was one of many groups that performed at the June First Friday.

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