In case you missed it, we threw a pretty big shindig last Friday. It was First Friday and Cinco de Mayo. So, it was kind of necessary.
The cool thing about this particular fiesta is that it was free and it was in the middle of downtown Augusta, in the Common. We had Mexican food, festivities for the kids and a free concert from upcoming artists Maggie Lindemann, Daniel Skye and Aaron Carter.
We invited everyone and I’m happy to say that a lot of people took us up on our invitation. Here’s the kicker: No one got shot!
It’s a weird thing to mention, I know. But, you’d be surprised at how many people stated that as the reason they wouldn’t be attending our soiree. Or, maybe you wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe you’re one of the people who are afraid of the same thing.
Despite First Fridays being gunplay free for a few years, many people still have their “shooting story.”
I, too, have a shooting story. Except, mine is from the first ever high school football game I ever went to. However, I didn’t start boycotting high school football games after that. In fact, I’ve been to maybe a hundred more without incident. Despite the many good First Friday experiences people have had over the years, shooting stories, recanted over and over, are now the perception about downtown events.
But, it shouldn’t be. We have an awesome downtown area and measures are being taken to ensure it’s safe for these events and others like it: Major Rager, The Riverwalk Revival Series, Border Bash, several pub crawls and other events have all gone off without incident.
There are cities similar to ours in size and demographic who take full advantage of their downtown area. They celebrate it with concerts, festival, etc. There’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t as well. If crime is your argument, well then we shouldn’t be going to Walmart, the mall or McDonald’s, each of which has had a shooting within the last year in the CSRA.
Our next First Friday event is already lined up: We’re kicking off the summer on June 2 with another free concert featuring Jax Jones, Max and AJR. There’s a lot of kids activities, food and beverages, and even some adult beverages. Yes, fun can be had by all at the same time. If you haven’t been downtown in a while, come and check it out. You might even have a little fun yourself.