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First Fridays in Central City

CC_FirstFridayTurning Main Street into a pedestrian block party

By David Josselyn

Central City hosted its second First Friday event August 7, 2015. First Fridays are a trending event in cities around the world, but especially in the United States. These events can be utilized for gallery openings, block parties, and even political networking. Central City introduced First Fridays this year with a block party feel, incorporating artists, vendors, food, and music. Main Street from Dostal Alley to Annie Oakley’s closed to vehicular traffic allowing attendees to meander freely along the street. Groups of people congregated for the recent First Friday, enjoying each other’s company, listening to the Jimmy Lewis Band, and dancing in the street. A brief strong wind accompanied by a fine rain only briefly cleared the street and did not dampen the spirit of the event.

One artist, Rudi the Mayan from Guatemala, impressed spectators as he put some finishing touches on a painting. Rudi was born color blind, seeing only colors between gray and green on the light spectrum. He has learned the tones and shades of other colors and creates beautiful paintings. Near the Gilpin Arts vendor booth was set up a table sized checker board complete with four inch checkers. Gilpin locals Joseph and Cindy C DeBaca sat down for an animated game or two. Several familiar faces from around the City and Gilpin County were seen that day and available to talk to. With another election year around the corner, there just may be some political networking going on during First Fridays.

The atmosphere of Central City’s First Friday is a very casual, come as you are, social gathering. Although I’m sure the City would like to see even larger crowds, it was nice to have an event without the elbow jostling, keeping your hands on your wallet just in case, mash of people. There is one final First Friday event scheduled this year for September 4, from 5 to 9 pm, so come check it out and be sure to look for them again next summer.

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