By Tori Pfeifer
Downtown Bryan’s favorite monthly event, First Friday, is back on Friday, Feb. 2.
As a tradition for the better part of 10 years, the Downtown Bryan Association puts on the community-wide event that stretches across the heart of downtown Bryan. What started out as a small gathering with shops like The Frame Gallery and Corner of Time Antiques & Collectibles has turned into an event that families, performers, and more than 70 merchants are sure not to miss out on every month.
Some of the biggest components, aside from the restaurant scene, include live music acts and street performers as well as nonprofit organizations and local student groups that set up in front of local businesses to promote their organization or cause. Restaurants and businesses stay open late to accommodate the flow of people bustling in and around the area.
“We put on free concerts at the Palace Theater. We’ve had musicians come from Austin to perform and some local talent as well,” said Katelyn Brown, the events coordinator for the DBA.
Brown said the focus is to bring business to the merchants downtown. Additionally, DBA Executive Director Sandy Farris said First Friday weekends have been some of the highest earning weekends over the past five years. The overall involvement in this event has shown all that downtown Bryan has to offer.
Business owners stay open late and get involved with various acts put up around their stores. Christine Buchanan from Corner of Time said their shop usually features demonstrators outside who showcase their artistic abilities. Woodcarvers, spinners and weavers, and a new blacksmith at February’s First Friday are among some of the lineup at Corner of Time this month.
“It’s more of a socialization event,” said Buchanan. “People come down to see people they might not get to see the rest of the month to meet and greet, and get to know their neighbors.”
According to Farris, First Friday is absolutely family oriented. Whether its grabbing dinner from Mr. G’s Pizza, stopping to listen to a street performer, or browsing for books at Ed’s Bookshop, there’s always something for everybody at Bryan’s First Friday.
Parking for First Friday is available in the local garage at a $5 flat rate, county lots, and along side streets. For more information, visit www.downtownbryan.com.