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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Bryan celebrates 10 years of First Friday events

In 2005, a local business owner began an event called First Friday in her shop. Now, 10 years later, First Friday has spread across the streets and venues of Downtown Bryan, showcasing the talents wof local businesses and artists.

In honor of the 10th anniversary of First Friday, Amanda Reynolds, Class of 2014 and events and programs manager for the Downtown Bryan Association, said said founder Greta Watkins held the first First Friday in her Frame Gallery shop.

“She had live jazz in there, stayed open all night, just encouraged people to spend their Friday night downtown even though there was all this construction going on and the roads were torn up,” Reynolds said.

As the downtown area became more and more renovated, First Friday foot traffic started to include more than just local residents, said Christine Buchanan, owner of Corner of Time Antique Mall.

“In the beginning it was more local, just people who lived here, and it grew,” Buchanan said. “You see a lot more of the college students down here.” 

Emily Ditto, owner of Emily’s JimS Boutique, said interaction between her and her customers is easier when so many people come through her shop on First Fridays comes easier.

“It gives people a chance to get to know the merchant, and that’s always a good, comfortable feeling to come into an establishment where it’s ‘I met the owner, we had a great conversation the last time I was here’ — a very hometown feel,” Ditto said.

First Friday events consist solely of local musicians, businesses and organizations and attract a wide range of age groups to downtown, said Buchanan.

“People have a lot of creativity in them and so First Friday is really good for demonstrating that,” Buchanan said. “You come down here and see a lot of different types of genres, you see everything from maybe more, what some might consider, heavy metal at the Stafford, all the way to blues and jazz. It’s all over the board.”

Buchanan said the inspiration to pursue passion may just come from frequenting Downtown Bryan and First Friday.

“I do see that it will continue to grow, especially the people that are coming down here that are loving it — maybe the first time they’ve ever seen something like this, and it starts to get their creative juices flowing and maybe they’ll open up a business down here that they love,” Buchanan said.

WHEN: SEPT. 4
WHAT: LIVE MUSIC, LOCAL ARTISTS, EXTENDED SHOP HOURS

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