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The Shawnee News-Star
  • First Friday

  • Monthly events making third and final transition.
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  • After two years of monthly events, First Friday Shawnee is making its third and final transition. Phase one brought Shawnee the unique art event that is sweeping the nation - local artists and musicians gathering once a month for the enjoyment of the public in a festival-style format. Phase two expanded the event to include multiple venues along Main Street; shop owners signed up to be participating venues and planned special shows and entertainment, extending their hours every first Friday of the month.
     
    Beginning May 2 - two years from the very first First Friday - the event moves into its third and final phase. At the invitation of the event originators, the Downtown Arts Association, the City of Shawnee will assume leadership of First Friday Shawnee, helping to expand the event to wider audiences.
     
    The event will still take place in multiple Downtown venues, it will still be family-friendly, and it will still be free, but venues will no longer be required to sign up and marketing efforts will increase.
     
    "We think this is a very positive move," says Ada Hunter, founder and president of Downtown Arts. "As a quasi-City event, it will let venues participate as they can, during whatever months they can, giving them more flexibility. And with more resources put towards marketing, the event is sure to reach a larger audience. First Friday was never about our organization; we just knew it could be good for our community, so we started it. We're very excited that it has grown to this point and look forward to seeing it continue to thrive."
     
    "I'm excited the City can play a role in facilitating the continuance of this wonderful community event," says Justin Erickson, Community Development Director for the City. "I thank Ada Hunter and Downtown Arts for their vision and dedication and look forward to working with interested parties in furthering the goal of creating a vibrant and thriving downtown."
     
    First Friday Shawnee is held on the first Friday of every month from 5pm-8pm in Downtown Shawnee. For more information, contact Justin Erickson at 878-1665. For a pictorial history of the first two years of First Friday Shawnee, visit the Downtown Arts Association online at www.downtownartsok.com.
     
     

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