Cities celebrate spring with eclectic themes
by Michelle Babcock
April 04, 2014 04:00 AM | 3142 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The cities of Woodstock and Canton will welcome crowds tonight to celebrate the season with eclectic downtown festivals.

Downtown Woodstock will play host to an ’80s-themed Friday Night Live festival, while downtown Canton will celebrate Latin American culture at its First Friday event.

Stores and restaurants will stay open late for festival-goers as each event celebrates the first month of spring with downtown festivals from 6 to 9 p.m.

Woodstock Friday Night Live

Big hair and bright colors are coming to downtown Woodstock for the ’80s Friday Night Live festival.

Kyle Bennett, director of tourism and visitors center operations, said the annual ’80s Night festival is one of the most popular events for people to wear themed costumes.

“Each year, it’s been growing in popularity,” Bennett said. “You’re looking at a couple hundred people that actually dress up for the event.”

The event features a costume contest, with the prize of a $100 Downtown Gift Certificate. Bennett said people who want to participate need to stop by the Woodstock Visitor’s Center at the historic Dean’s Store on Main Street to have their picture taken.

Downtown merchants will select the top costumes, and those will then be put online for community members to vote on the winner, Bennett said.

“It’s a very visual event,” he added.

Bennett said there will be ’80s-themed music ringing out from the sidewalks downtown, and many stores will offer specials for the event.

“The live music is always a lot of fun,” he said. “The musicians always focus on ’80s-style music.”

Bennett said Dress Up Boutique will offer 20 percent off of all jewelry during the event, and Brenda’s House of Flowers will offer 40 percent off spring inventory and 20 percent off planting beds.

Bennett said the work of local artist Kristina Laurendi Havens will be on display at Copper Coin Coffee during the event, featuring 35 oil paintings of scenes around Main Street.

Later this year, the paintings will be auctioned to benefit the Elm Street Cultural Arts Center, Bennett added.

Leaning Ladder will offer a free wine tasting during the First Friday event, and Yoguri will have a face painter outside its shop.

Many other downtown restaurants and stores will participate in the event by offering specials and sales, Bennett said.

Canton First Friday

Canton will play host to a Latin American Festival for its April First Friday celebration this week, with music and fun centered at Cannon Park downtown.

Meghan Griffin, Canton Main Street director, said the Latin American Festival is being presented in conjunction with the Cherokee Arts Center weeklong Mayan culture exhibition, which runs until April 5.

The Friday festival will feature various Latin American music, dance lessons, vendors and the staple classic car show, Griffin said.

“We’re going to have Arena Sound Woodstock performing, and we’re going to do different types of Latin music,” Griffin said.

Griffin said Cherokee Rhythm and Smooth will be at the event with dance teachers and students, ready to give dance lessons.

“It’s going to be a wide variety of music, too,” Griffin added. “It should be fun.”

Griffin said the number of vendors signing up to participate is rising, with some new booths signed up for this week.

“We’ve got a couple new people doing hand-crafted jewelry, and some more food vendors — especially dessert items,” she said.

The exhibition at the Cherokee Arts Center, “Living Maya: Classical Weaving and Music Display,” is slated to stay open late during the Friday festival, and will be open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Cherokee Arts Center is at 94 North St. in Canton.

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