Step into the heart of Pittsboro’s downtown at “Finally Fridays”

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – The charm of Pittsboro’s historic downtown will come alive in a new way with the launch of “Finally Fridays,” a monthly event designed to celebrate local businesses, artists, and the vibrant community spirit. The inaugural event took place this Friday, promising an evening filled with art, music, shopping, and socializing.

Around noon on the day of the event, I had a chance to sit down at the Havoc Brewing Company outdoor patio and have a conversation with three of the folks involved in getting this event together. They were Heather Johnson of Pittsboro Print Plus, Pam Freese of the Pittsboro Gallery of Arts, and Teresa Thompson, the downtown director for the town of Pittsboro.

A Community-Driven Initiative

“Finally Fridays” was conceived by local business owners and residents who recognized the need for more engaging events in Pittsboro. Pam Freese, co-owner of the Pittsboro Gallery of Arts and a member of Circle City Merchants, spearheaded the initiative. “When I moved here 20 years ago, there wasn’t much for people to do downtown in the evenings,” Freese recalls. “We wanted to create an event that would encourage locals and visitors to explore and enjoy what Pittsboro has to offer.”

Teresa Thompson, Pittsboro’s Downtown Director, the sentiments, emphasizing the collaborative effort behind the event. “This is a celebration of our downtown businesses and the artistic community. It’s not just about drawing people in; it’s about showcasing the unique talents and services that make Pittsboro special.”.

Heather Johnson, owner of Pittsboro Print Plus notes that “The town has been very supportive, providing funds for bands and helping with signage. She added that “It’s really exciting to see the community come together to make this happen.”

The Concept Behind Finally Fridays

The idea for “Finally Fridays” evolved from the success of other local events like First Sundays. However, the team wanted something that would specifically enhance the evening experience. “We needed something for the whole town on weekends,” Freese explained. “With the social district in place, it felt like the right time to introduce an event that combined shopping, dining, and entertainment.”

The name “Finally Fridays” was chosen after much deliberation. “We wanted a name that was catchy and conveyed the excitement of reaching the end of the workweek,” said Pam Freese. “It’s about finally having something to look forward to on a Friday night.” None of the ladies would let me know what was the worst name idea.

What to Expect at Finally Fridays

A Celebration of Local Businesses

Unlike larger festivals that bring in outside vendors, “Finally Fridays” focuses on Pittsboro’s own businesses. Shops stayed open late, offering special promotions and welcoming customers to explore their unique offerings. Restaurants and bars also participate, ensuring that attendees can enjoy a complete evening out.

Showcasing Local Art and Talent

A unique feature of “Finally Fridays” is the emphasis on local artists. Artist pods, designated spaces for artists to display and sell their work, are set up throughout downtown. “Any artist can come and set up in one of these pods without paying a fee,” said Freese. “It’s a great opportunity for artists to showcase their work and engage with the community.”

The event will also feature live music from local bands, thanks to funding from the town. “We’ve invested in this event because we believe in the potential of our downtown,” Thompson noted. “Music adds a lively atmosphere and gives people another reason to come out and enjoy themselves.”

Family-Friendly Activities

While the event aims to boost local business and nightlife, it’s also designed to be family-friendly. “We want to create an environment where everyone feels welcome.” Activities for children, such as face painting and interactive art demonstrations, will be available to ensure that families can participate fully.

The First Event: A Grand Kickoff

The first “Finally Fridays” event is set to be a grand affair, with various activities planned across multiple locations. “We’ve been working on this for months, and it’s exciting to see it all come together,” Freese said. Key locations the artist pods for the event include Page Vernon Pocket Park, Red Moose Brewing Company, and Frye Studios.

Artists on Display

One of the highlights will be the artist pods, where local artists will showcase their creations. “It’s like a mini art fair. We have painters, woodworkers, jewelers, and more. It’s a chance for people to see the incredible talent we have right here in Pittsboro.”

Live Music and Entertainment

Live music will play a central role in the evening’s festivities. Several local bands will perform at various venues, creating a festive atmosphere. “Music brings people together. It’s the perfect backdrop for an evening of exploration and enjoyment.”

Food and Drinks

Pittsboro’s restaurants and bars geared up for a busy night, with special menus and promotions planned. The town’s social district allows for open container laws within designated areas, enabling attendees to stroll through downtown with their beverages. “It’s about creating a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere,” said Freese. “People can grab a drink, explore the shops, and listen to live music all in one evening.”

The Impact on the Community

Local business owners were looking forward to the “Finally Fridays” event. “It’s an opportunity to attract new customers and show them what Pittsboro has to offer.”

The event is also expected to have a positive economic impact. “When people come downtown, they spend money at our shops and restaurants,” said Thompson. “It’s a boost for our local economy and helps keep our businesses thriving.”

Community Support and Involvement

The success of “Finally Fridays” is rooted in community support. The town has provided financial backing for the event, and local businesses have contributed in-kind donations. “It’s been a true community effort. From planning to execution, everyone has played a part.”

The event also aims to foster a sense of community pride. “We want people to feel connected to Pittsboro. Events like this bring people together and create a sense of belonging.”

Looking Ahead: The Future of Finally Fridays

The organizers of “Finally Fridays” are already looking ahead to future events. “This is just the beginning. We’re planning to make this a regular event, every third Friday of the month.”

As Finally Fridays gains momentum, there are plans to expand the event to include more activities and attractions. This could involve adding more artist pods, incorporating additional entertainment options, and even extending the event hours.

The Facebook Livestream of the first “Finally Fridays” event drew over 730 views over the weekend.

The team is also open to feedback and suggestions from the community. “We want to keep improving and evolving,” said Thompson. “If people have ideas for activities or improvements, we want to hear them.”

A New Tradition for Pittsboro

“Finally Fridays” promises to be more than just an event; organizers home it becomes a new tradition for Pittsboro. By celebrating local businesses, artists, and the community, the event aims to create a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere in downtown Pittsboro.

Pittsboro residents and visitors alike are encouraged to come out and experience all that “Finally Fridays” has to offer. Whether you’re a longtime resident or a first-time visitor, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So mark your calendars, gather your friends and family, and head downtown the third Friday of each month to be part of the celebration. Finally Fridays have arrived in Pittsboro, and the plan is that they’re here to stay.