First Friday big hit with Masters visitors

By: Ryan Duffy
By: Ryan Duffy

Big Masters crowds were in downtown Augusta Friday night, checking out First Friday.

From hot rides and live music to art shows and dinner at the sidewalk cafes, organizers had some special events planned.

Organizers wanted to take advantage of this Masters First Friday downtown to show visitors from around the world just what downtown Augusta has to offer.

One of the attractions is the statue of James Brown. Everyone seemed to want a picture with the godfather.

First Friday offered music on every corner, a special car show, and artists selling all along the sidewalks. With so much going on, who wouldn't be impressed?

"It's beautiful! I love this street, I love the atmosphere, it's really nice," said visitor Shigeko Austin.

With so many visitors in town, First Friday organizers were using this opportunity to show off a little.

"First Fridays are always special, but this is extra special because want visitors to see how great our downtown is," said Margaret Woodard of the Downtown Development Authority.

The strategy seemed to be working. Just ask Michael Donio and Todd Taylor, in town from St. Louis. They took a break from the fairways for First Friday.

"I tell you what, we're really, really impressed," Donio said. "We heard Augusta's a small town, not much to do besides the Masters. We are pleasantly surprised."

"It's beautiful," Taylor said. "The weather's perfect tonight, restaurants open, sidewalk cafes...very impressed with the comfort of the city."

The music is continuing late into the night, and judging from the large crowds, Augusta's attempt to show off, seems to have paid off.

First Friday planners consider this good practice...because next year's Masters Friday will also be a First Friday.

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