The Pine Bush Area Chamber of Commerce annual membership dinner was held August 31 outdoors at Dos Amigos restaurant, allowing for a safe environment and social distancing. President Brenda Otto welcomed new members and board members at the event before providing details about the upcoming Town of Crawford First Fridays.
“I am really excited about First Fridays,” said Otto. “The Town (of Crawford) is on board and as we move forward, and develop it, it is really going to be great. This event will make the people who drive down Main Street want to hit the brakes and stop to see some really great businesses right in town along with the First Friday vendors.”
October 2, November 6, and December 4 are the scheduled dates for First Fridays as they are the first Friday of the month. According to a fact sheet supplied by the Chamber, the fun will be from 4 – 7 p.m. on Main Street. The planned format is for masked and socially distanced visitors to be able to enjoy “an array of music, delicious food from our local restaurants and beautiful artwork and crafts from our incredibly talented neighbors and community.”
“This event was an idea made by Heatherlynn Nelson, owner of Inglenook Marketplace on Main Street,” Otto explained. “The funds raised from the tent and table fees will be going back into the community to support a beautification project named, ‘The Beautification of Pine Bush Project,’ or what I like to call – ‘Beep-Beep.”
Asked for her thoughts about the project, Michelle England said, “I am looking forward to seeing Main Street active, and brightened, and filled with people.”
Keith Hindley, owner of Soulshine Market added, “We have a lot of businesses here and we can all work together.”
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” shared Ellen Quimby.
In a follow up interview with Nelson, she explained the origins of the idea were based on an experience she had while living in Phoenix, Arizona where First Fridays were held. “It was back in 2000 and I was a singer in a band. First Fridays were held to bring out artists, muralists, musicians, and get people walking around. I shared the idea with Maria Vanini-Brown of the Town of Crawford Small Business and Tourism Department and she then presented the idea to Domanie Ragni and the Town Board. Using the funds raised to put the money back into the town to seasonally decorate, and just make it more attractive will hopefully motivate more people to stop and walk around and shop. Seeing more people on Main Street will hopefully fill the empty stores with vibrant businesses and then we have a win/win. This effects all of us.”
Interested artists, musicians, crafters, local farmers and growers are all encouraged to participate. For general event questions, contact Heatherlynn Nelson, owner of Inglenook Marketplace and Chamber member at FirstFridayInfo@gmail.com. For volunteer and sponsorship information, contact Brenda Otto, Chamber President at email@example.com.