As merchants and restaurant owners open their doors for locals during this month's First Friday events tonight, some attendees will be reuniting with old classmates and friends from their high school days.
In coordination with the monthly festivities in downtown Johnson City, alumni of 15 years or more from Science Hill High School have decided to hold a mega reunion.
“They’re utilizing every restaurant, most of the venues downtown,” Brandi Woodall, First Friday director said. “They’ve got activities going on kind of within all the businesses down here and I think they’re anticipating about 1,500 people. It’ll be a lot of food and beverage and people hanging out, so we just thought we’d help cap off the night and give them a concert.”
Woodall said the last few First Friday’s have featured musical acts and said tonight’s event will host a free concert by local band, The Rickshaw Roadshow.
She said after taking to the JC First Friday Facebook page to inquire of subscribers what musical acts they would like to see perform during First Friday, she said The Rickshaw Roadshow was the No. 1 requested band.
“We’re really excited about them. They’re going to play probably an hour, hour and a half set, so … it’ll give people plenty of time to get off work, come downtown, have dinner … grab a chair and then come on up to the stage and just enjoy the show,” Woodall said.
She said the band will go on at 8 p.m. on the Appalachian Lighting stage on East Main Street between Johnson City Federal Credit Union and Nelson Fine Art.
As First Friday events were created to boost attention and to promote downtown merchants and local business, Woodall said there will be plenty to see and do tonight.
“We’ve got some great downtown … merchants. You’ve got Atlantis. They always have activities going on, even within the store. Unique Treasures down on Spring Street, they always have a big thing going on every First Friday in their store, usually promotional things and activities,” she said.
The Nelson Fine Art Center will also be hosting an opening reception their First Annual Johnson City Veterans Art Show 2013, “The Creative Warrior,” during First Friday activities.
According to a Nelson Fine Art news release, the show “seeks to recognize and promote the artistic talents of veteran and active duty artists, by helping them to support each other as creative warriors, and to engage the civilian public in dialog regarding the role and contributions of modern day warriors in society.”
The reception will start at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.
According to the release, the art show will remain at Nelson Fine Art through August.
Woodall said she’s been working to finish the itinerary for the rest of the year and said there are a lot of exciting things in the works.
“Next month is going to be dedicated … to the (Hands On! Regional Museum) and kids activities and so what we’ll be celebrating in September will be more of a … Hands On! birthday celebration, along with Touch-A-Truck,” she said. “I actually had a meeting with (East Tennessee State University Wednesday) and we’re working on some things for this fall that we’re really excited about. I think from my perspective, I really want to … include more and more music. That’s drawing people. It’s free.”
For more information on First Friday activities visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jcfirstfriday.