Downtown Raleigh holds 1st ‘First Friday’ in over a year

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As restrictions are slowly being lifted, a monthly tradition is coming back to Raleigh, First Friday. There are typically street closures and vendors, but this first one got off to a smaller start.

Gallery C on North Blount Street called it a great opportunity.

They said the monthly event brings new people in.

“Most of them are still calling ahead, and they would prefer to have an appointment. And we did ask for appointments tonight,” Charlene Newsom, the owner of Gallery C said.

Newsom said about 30 people made appointments.

“It was particularly difficult in the middle of last year. Thank goodness we got some PPP money and so we were able to hang on tight,” she explained.

Haymaker, a cocktail bar, is also hanging on. They said fewer people in downtown has meant less business, but events like this help.

“It’s really just getting the word out and letting people see how much fun they can have downtown,” Jared Gartner, the assistant manager, and bartender said.

They also have artwork for sale.

Artspace is one of the main venues. They had live music, displays and artists have workshops in the back.

“Getting out in front of live human beings, it feels great,” Dave Devlin, a musician said.

Devlin plays while his partner, Amanda Wilson paints. They then auction off the painting at the end of the night. The two are called Little Red Birds.

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