Final DDA-funded First Friday

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October 6, 2006

It's the end of an least for Augusta's Downtown Development Authority.

Tonight will be the last First Friday they finance.

But that doesn't mean the fun has to end.

Business owners are hoping for a big night tonight and a bright future. They're are making it crystal clear that they are open for your business.

Ever since the announcement last month, merchants have been talking amongst themselves, discussing which direction they want to take First Friday...because really, it's up to them now. They're calling the shots.

It's a throwback to how First Friday began back in the early 90's. It started with the galleries, with the antique shops, and on Artist's Row.

We spoke with several people about what they'd like to see First Friday evolve into. We also asked them how events should be marketed in order to draw crowds.

"I am 100% confident First Friday will carry on," said Brad Owens of the Downtown Development Authority. "It'll be better than it is now because it'll be more properly funded, and we're trying to get the control of the event back to the merchants and the artists right downtown."

"The actual idea of First Friday is not going to end," said store owner Beverly Huff. "It might evolve into something else with a different name, but it's going to be geared more toward family."

So some changes may be heading your way. There's been a lot of talk about having more activities for children.