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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Downtown Bryan’s First Friday

Kids+gather+around+to+learn+and+watch+as+local+craftsman+show+off+their+pottery+skills%26%23160%3B
Photo by photo by Laura Haslam

Kids gather around to learn and watch as local craftsman show off their pottery skills 

On the first Friday of every month, the streets of Downtown Bryan fill with vivacious crowds and as the night settles in, businesses open their doors wide.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. and continuing into the night, the Downtown Bryan Association, a non-profit organization that promotes the area and its history, ensures hours of family friendly entertainment complete with store deals, busy restaurants and guest performances on the streets or in the Palace Theatre.
Abigail Noel, Downtown Bryan Association marketing coordinator, said her favorite part of First Friday is the communal atmosphere fabricated by businesses and people.
“It’s just about bringing the community together to experience Downtown Bryan as a whole,” Noel said. “We love people coming down for the first time or even if they’ve been here every First Friday since forever. It’s always a new experience, and it’s always nice to hear their feedback, how much they enjoy it and why they love coming down here.”
Shaundra Hinson, co-owner of Second Story, a furniture, gift and antique store located at the corner of North Main Street in Downtown Bryan, said she there is something for nearly everyone at First Friday with the multitude of attractions.
“We typically have a young man, he is a student at A&M, his name is Logan Herrera and he sings in front of the store, so that’s awesome,” Hinson said. “The Downtown Bryan Association, they do a great job of getting different artists and vendors, promoting Downtown Bryan and just drawing people in.”
String and Horn Shop, a musical instrument store on North Main Street, hosts a variety of local artist performances. Michael Casares, a store employee, said along with the different showcased talents, the store is full of people until late in the night.
“It’s a lot of good energy, just being around a lot of interesting people that come in and out of the store,” Casares said. “Sometimes we’ll be open until 10:30 or 11. It’s just a lot of hanging out with people as they come by and we have a good time.”
While First Friday is home to many musical performances, there are other events with a much quieter atmosphere, such as a visit to Carnegie Library on South Main Street. Rachael Meddlers, the Carnegie History Center’s manager, said the library focuses on connecting with the past with a specific theme.
“We consider what’s going [on] historically during the month,” Meddlers said. “Like with February being Black History Month, we have a display downstairs. We like to showcase the businesses and museums that are participating with the African American community. We like to put out articles and actual historical records from the area about African American history. We would display things that matter and correlate to those themes we have during the month.”
Meddlers said next month’s theme at Carnegie Library will celebrate Texas’s Independence Day through a collection of memorabilia and pictures provided by the community.
Jacob Inman, communication junior and a member of Brothers Under Christ (BYX), said he looks forward to their event at the Palace Theatre next week.
“First Friday is a great opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate local food, art, and talent,” Inman said. “BYX is thrilled to be part of First Friday, and we’re really excited to bring our event, Battle of the Bands, to the people of Bryan-College Station.”
Battle of the Bands will take place March 2 at the Palace Theater in Downtown Bryan and will feature six bands who will be performing for a chance to play at BYX’s spring philanthropy event, Island Party Music Festival, which will be held April 28.
Rachel White, recreation park and tourism sciences senior, said she adores the energy Downtown Bryan provides and her past experiences always keep her coming back.
“You see all kinds of people and representations there,” White said. “There are street performers everywhere, and I completely forget that I’m in Bryan because I feel like I am in an art district in a larger city of some sort. It’s refreshing. I feel like it’s one of the few events in the community that recognizes the arts of the area and the really talented people that we have.”
For more information about First Friday or any of Downtown Bryan’s upcoming events, visit https://www.downtownbryan.com/first-friday/ and http://www.bcslibrary.org/carnegie/.

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