First Friday Jacksonville returns after a two month hiatus

By Benjamin Cox on March 2, 2018 at 9:37am

It’s officially the beginning of March and the shops surrounding downtown Jacksonville look to welcome in many guests to the square. After a two-month long hiatus, First Friday in Jacksonville returns for the first time in 2018.

Eight different stores on the historic square will open their doors at 5 p.m. today for First Friday in Jacksonville. Owner of Our Town Books Andy Mitchell is coordinating the event. He says people can expect to find discounts, art exhibits and wine at the various shops tonight.

“With the refurbishment of the downtown, we just want to revitalize that and offer some free cultural events and we would like to do that. Just want to give something for people to do that doesn’t cost any money. We took the last couple of months off during the winter, but the sun is going to shine, should be alright.” said Mitchell.

Mitchell explains how First Friday originally started.

“The Imagine foundation started a thing called the gallery hop a number of years ago. The head of that moved out of town so it fizzled out. Then Nicole Riley from the Soap Company coffee shop and myself decided to revitalize it and rename is First Friday. It’s essentially the same type of thing, different places are offering different type of specials or art or music, refreshments. Just to give the community something of a cultural event.” said Mitchell.

The free event will continue until about 8 p.m. tonight at selection stores. Mitchell talks about the various exhibits at the eight different stores.

“The Gold Leaf gallery on State Street are going to be offering art on display from a Michigan artist, Ralph Kelly. The Soap Co, the coffee house next door. Just Good Trade. they always participate and there are a couple other. Home girls, Meraki hair and names, Taylor Mercantile they are a new store, a neat store to check out. A new one this month is the Coldwll Banker building across from Leo’s, they’re offering art on display too so, they are wanting to participate so that’s encouraging.” Mitchell said.

If you would like more information about First Friday Jacksonville, you can find out through their Facebook page or you may call Andy Mitchell at the Our Town Books store, 217-245-2665.