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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

First Friday set to highlight diverse voices, aspiring artists

Photo by Jodie Gonzalez, JOUR 203

New to First Friday on Sept. 1 is a free shuttle bus service that will run every 30 minutes from the Memorial Student Center on Texas A&M’s campus to Downtown Bryan, making the monthly arts and entertainment festival easier than ever for Aggies to attend

As Texas A&M students have arrived back on campus, businesses in Downtown Bryan have prepared for the influx of students and locals during the monthly First Friday event on Sept. 1.
As the sun begins to set and streets are blocked off from traffic, Historic Downtown Bryan will light up from thrift-shop and restaurant windows, vintage cars and The Queen Theatre’s retro, neon-yellow marquee.
First Friday has free attractions designed for all ages, from college students to families, and brings new shoppers who support the local businesses, according to the With live music on most corners, food trucks, farmers market vendors and nonprofit groups ready to talk about their organizations, organizers say there is always something for both newcomers to the area and First Friday regular attendees.
Missy Barron, owner of The Frame Gallery, a custom art framing shop and First Friday’s birthplace, said the Gallery’s founder had a vision for using the event to empower young artists by displaying their work for the Bryan-College Station community to see and support.
The gallery now showcases art by local high-school students, Barron said.
“Those are turning out to be some of my favorite shows to do for the kids because their families come in, and it may be the first time they will have their artwork in a gallery,” Barron said.
Jake Mitchell, owner of Rx Pizza, said First Fridays are key to the success of his business.
“It’s a very busy day for us,” Mitchell said. “We know that we’re gonna have a wait at the door, sometimes way over an hour long.”
While some shops profit from First Friday traffic, other businesses don’t get as much immediate financial return.
“To be perfectly honest, I don’t make money,” Barron said. “Sometimes I’m negative after a First Friday because all of our artwork is on consignment and then that usually just covers my employees for the night.
“It’s really just a night for artists to get attention, and we have so many people that come through and then return when they’re ready to get some art framed,” Barron said.
September’s First Friday will include Fiestas Patrias celebrations featuring Latin dance groups, Mexican artisanry, traditional Mexican clothing and art from a variety of Hispanic voices in the BCS community, according to event organizers.
“With Bryan being a majority-minority city, it’s great to see different cultural aspects that represent the community,” said Chris Ortegon, special event coordinator for Destination Bryan.
Free event parking is available in the Roy Kelly parking garage from 4 p.m. to midnight, and free shuttle rides are now available for A&M students leaving from the Memorial Student Center on campus, Ortegon said. The shuttles run every 30 minutes and the last shuttle will leave Downtown for campus at 9:30 p.m. The shuttle schedule will be available on the A&M app, said Caden Jones, an intern for Destination Bryan.
For a full list of live music, special business discounts offered during the night and other First Friday attractions, visit

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