First Friday festivals return to Cherokee
by Michelle Babcock
March 06, 2014 04:00 AM | 2875 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The downtown streets of two Cherokee County cities will once again fill with festivities on the first Friday of each month, with 2014 celebrations scheduled to kick off Friday night.

Events in downtown Woodstock and Canton will keep stores open late and offer all sorts of attractions, as the annual Friday night celebrations kick off after a break during the winter months.

The events run from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, and will each celebrate different holidays.

Canton is playing host to a St. Patrick’s-themed event and the city of Woodstock is taking to the streets to celebrate Mardi Gras complete with a parade and a king and queen.

Woodstock Friday Night Live

Woodstock will celebrate the season with a “Mardi Gras on Main” theme, featuring a foot parade, crowning of a Mardi Gras king and queen and themed activities throughout the area.

The downtown- festival will bring the spirit of Mardi Gras to Woodstock, with a foot parade at 8 p.m. starting at Ipp’s Pastaria and Bar and ending at the gazebo in The Park at City Center.

Kyle Bennett, director of tourism and visitors center operations, said the parade is open to everyone.

“Everyone is welcome to join this fun walking parade as it walks the loop around downtown Woodstock,” Bennett said Wednesday in a news release. “The parade will end at the gazebo, where we will crown the king and queen of Mardi Gras on Main.”

Performers will play live music on downtown sidewalks, as many local shops shops offer special deals and activities themed around the Mardi Gras celebration.

“Pennybag Emporium will have a game for kids in front of their store and will also feature jambalaya and Mardi Gras beads for all,” Bennett added. “Wright Stuff Collectables will feature Mardi Gras beads and necklaces, Mardi Gras festival special sales on all merchandise and Wright Stuff will have a drawing for a $25 gift certificate and will have free refreshments at the store.”

Many more local merchants will offer sales and Mardi Gras specials. Other participating stores include: Blue Frog Imports, Canyons Burgers, Seven Arrows, Copper Coin, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Cupcakelicious, Be You On Purpose Boutique, LKT Sports, Fashion Cupcake, Maxwell’s Cigar Bar and many more.

The Teen Arts Night and iThink Improv Troupe are also back with events taking place during and after the celebration.

Teen Arts Night will be at City Center from 6 to 9 p.m., and creative teens are invited to share their art. Youth in seventh- to 12th-grade are invited to share poetry, karaoke, artwork, short stories, or other creative work, with like-minded teens.

For $5 at the door, participants will get a slice of pizza and a soda at intermission.

The iThink Improv Troupe will perform at 9 p.m. at the City Center, taking suggestions from the audience and turning them into family-friendly comedy. All tickets are $5.

Canton First Friday

The downtown Canton festival will also return tomorrow for its first celebration of the year with a St. Patrick’s Day theme.

Main Street Director Meghan Griffin said the Atlanta Irish School of Music will perform traditional Irish music and dance.

“They’ve performed all over Georgia, and now they’re coming here,” Griffin said. “It will be fun for the whole family.”

The festival will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early, Griffin said.

“We’re encouraging everybody to wear green, and it’s really a kick-off party for our First Fridays coming to downtown again,” Griffin said.

Griffin said the Classic Car Show would return as usual, along with many veteran craft and food vendors.

“We’ve also got some new jewelry designers, and I think we’re going to have a couple new food vendors,” she said. “And our downtown stores will be open, of course.”

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