First Friday returns to downtown

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2008

NATCHEZ — First Friday weekend is back and in full force.

In fact, Natchez Downtown Development Director Carrie Lambert said this weekend is going to be the best one ever.

The staples of First Friday weekend that have been around since its genesis in March will be still be going on.

Email newsletter signup

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today the Downtown Art Walk will be on Franklin and Main streets where local businesses will host local artists and offer refreshments.

Lambert said 20 shops are participating in the art walk this month.

“Some of the downtown shops are known for their incredible refreshments,” she said.

What’s been added to this weekend-long event tonight is a street dance from 8 to 10 p.m.

Lambert said the 300 block of Main Street will be blocked off and Andrew’s Tavern and Pearl Street Pasta have kicked in to be a part of the event, bringing in the band Osgood and Blacque for live music.

“They play incredible music that you can’t help but up and move your feet to,” Lambert said.

Both Andrew’s and Pearl Street Pasta will be open for business, each having a special drink and a special dish, respectively, for the event itself.

Lambert said both businesses are giving 10 percent of their sales to the Natchez Downtown Development to help out with funds.

Lambert said she hopes the street dance is a success and will continue for the months to come.

Saturday will have discount shopping downtown as well as the regular outdoor cinema. This month’s movie is “North by Northwest” and giveaways will be provided by Cable One and The Turner Network.

Lambert said participants are encouraged to bring chairs, tables and picnics.

Vaughan’s Café will have a concession set up with the basic refreshments but will take orders for some hot food from the restaurant, as well.

The new twist Saturday is the Art Stroll in Memorial Park.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., artists will be set up in the park “Jackson Square style,” Lambert said.

Refreshment and live music will also be available.

Lambert said she looks forward to Pilgrimage crowds and hope they come out.

“There’s so much for people to do now,” she said. “There’s something different for everyone and they party just keeps going.”

Lambert’s master plan is to keep adding facets to the monthly event.

“Every month or two, we’re trying to add something to First Friday to make it bigger and better,” she said.

One of the reasons she said she’s been fortunate in growing this event is the help she’s received from local businesses and residents.

“I have a lot of people making this happen,” she said. “I pray all the time for help and guidance in this position and I have been blessed.

“In the past year, I have met no one who has turned me away.”

This weekend is the first First Friday weekend since August. Last month’s event was canceled due to Hurricane Gustav.