Downtown Woodstock and downtown Canton will enliven tonight with their September First Friday events, starting at 6 p.m. in both cities. Stores will be open late and the streets will be lively with residents and entertainment.
Woodstock is celebrating football season at its event, while the city of Canton will have live entertainment with a free concert, as well as a free movie and car show.
Tonight’s Friday Night Live event in Woodstock is known as “The Great Downtown Tailgate,” a celebration of football and sportsman spirit, topped off with grilling and a corn hole tournament.
“This has always proved to be one of our more popular themes, with how football-crazed the South is,” Woodstock Director of Tourism and Visitors Center Operations Kyle Bennett said Thursday.
Bennett said this Friday’s event “owes a lot” to LKT Sports Art, and said the highlights of the event are centered around the store. LKT Sports Art is celebrating its 13th anniversary and will offer a 13 percent discount from 5 to 9 p.m.
“The marquee part of this event is the corn hole bean bag tournament they host in front of their store,” Bennett said. “The parking spots in front of that (store) get blocked off and they have a big tournament the entire night. This year it’s a 16-team, two people per team, tournament.”
All of the slots for the tournament are already filled up, and Bennett said there is a waiting list to participate.
“That tournament is a lot of fun, a lot of people come out to watch it even if they’re not in it, it’s a very big part of the event,” Bennett said.
Kennesaw State University will also be partnering with Woodstock for the event tonight, and Bennett said there are a lot of KSU students and alumni who live in Cherokee County.
“Another thing that we’re very excited about for this year’s event is we’re partnering with Kennesaw State University, since they have a football team coming in the future.
“So they’re sending their cheerleaders, their dance squad, their mascot, their student volunteers for athletics, and they’re going to have a couple tents set up around downtown to promote all the stuff that Kennesaw State Athletics, and especially their football team in the future, has to offer this area,” Bennett said.
Many downtown Woodstock stores are participating in the event, and will feature live music, food, games, sales and special events.
FoxTale Book Shoppe will have an “Emerging Author” book signing event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., highlighting emerging authors from many genres. Each author will discuss their book for five minutes and be available to sign purchased books.
The featured authors include Christopher Martin, Kay Hall, Dr. Deborah Forrest, Andrea Miller, Carol Carter, Kathy Walters, Evelyn Blasi, Suzanne Litrel, Michael Paul, Gail Heller, Gabrielle Black and Jill Jennings.
There will be live music at many stores, including Seven Arrows, Cupcakelicious and Copper Coin Coffee, and Pennybag Emporium will have a kid’s game with free prizes for all.
Pennybag Emporium will also have a visit from Snow White for part of the night, and Mario the caricature artist will offer free drawings.
Threads will offer free glitter tattoos, Cupcakelicious will have football-themed cupcakes, and other stores will participate by offering snacks, games or discounts.
Studio 81 is having an end of the summer art sale, Canyons Burgers will have $2 domestic beer, Seven Arrows plans a special sale, and Dismero will continue its summer fashion sale with 60 percent off.
During the event, customers who “say something Italian” at the register will get an additional 20 percent off on regular priced merchandise.
In addition to the many shops participating in tonight’s event, Elm Street will play host to Teen Arts Night at the City Center from 6 to 8 p.m.
Youths in grades between seventh and 12th grade are invited to bring their guitars, karaoke CDs, poetry and artwork, to share with other teens. For $5 at the door, participants will get a slice of pizza and a soda at intermission.
The iThink Improv Troupe will also be at City Center at 9 p.m., and tickets are $5. The Troupe will take audience suggestions and perform a family friendly comedy show.
In downtown Canton, the band Kona will headline tonight’s First Friday event, playing a mix of music from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and now, followed by a free anniversary screening of a popular movie at the Canton Theatre.
Canton Main Street Director Meghan Griffin said tonight’s First Friday event will be “fun for the whole family.”
“There will be great music, classic cars and lots of places to eat and shop,” Griffin said Thursday. “Plus, 2013 is the 25th anniversary of “The Princess Bride,” and it is a great date movie!”
The movie is free, but there are only 200 seats in the theater, so Griffin suggests getting there early.
The first showing of “The Princess Bride” will start at 6:30 p.m., and a second showing will start at 8:30 p.m., both sponsored by Goin’ Coastal restaurant.
Kona is a band from Atlanta, with most of its members hailing from the West Coast.
The music is sponsored by The Painted Pig Tavern, and the band will play a combination of easy listening and dance music.
“(Kona) is going to give a great performance, with lots of popular music from the last 40 years,” Griffin said.
Canton’s Classic Car Show, now a staple at the First Friday events, will continue tonight, and there will be many vendors, and choices of food and drinks.
“We have been getting so many applications to be a vendor and they run the gamut,” Griffin said. “We will have vendors selling jewelry, clothes, crafts, goods for the home, food and drink and handmade knives, plus so much more.”
Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets to tonight’s event, centered in Cannon Park downtown.
For more information on the event, contact Griffin at (770) 704-1500.