Pinch Me: Start September with a variety of low-cost activities

The first weekend in September is fast-approaching, and there are lots of things to do. If you’re looking for fun activities that fit your budget, consider coming downtown for First Friday, taking a hike or feasting at a Labor Day cook-off.



First Thursday: The monthly celebration has been going on for five years now in Midtown. Head over to the 2100 block of Kings Way for the first all-female figure show and sale at Midtown Market or visit the 5 O’Clock Bistro, Summerville Art and Frame, or Crums on Central for more brushes with art. The event starts at 5 p.m.


First Friday: Each first Friday, head to downtown Augusta for food, fun and shopping from 5 to 10 p.m. For more details, call (706) 826-4702.

Friday Moonlight Music Cruise: Enjoy a boat ride down the Augusta Canal with different musical acts each week at
6:30 p.m. Admission is $25.

Sept. 2: Ruskin Yeargain/Impulse to Ride – duo, acoustic pop/rock

Sept. 9: Wayne Crapps – guitar, mandolin and vocals

Sept. 16: Paul Roberts Fresh Music All Stars – Broadway tunes

Saturday Market at the River: Shop for fresh produce, unique crafts, plants and more at Eighth Street Plaza this Saturday, Sept. 3 and Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call (706) 627-0128.


Swamp Saturday: On first Saturdays, take a free hike through Phinizy Swamp at 9:30 a.m. Trained volunteers lead a 2.5-mile, 90-minute hike through the nature park. Learn more at


Labor Day: The Labor Day BBQ Cook-Off returns to Newberry Street in downtown Aiken on Monday, Sept. 5.

The cook-off is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and benefits the United Way of Aiken County. “Celebrity” chefs will serve up spare ribs, chicken, Boston butt, baked beans, slaw and banana pudding.

Diners will be entertained by local music groups Bamboo, and Preston and Weston featuring Sandra Simmons.

Advance tickets are $8 and may be purchased at Aiken Public Safety Headquarters, Aiken City Hall, H. Odell Weeks Activities Center, and Holley Tractor and Equipment. Tickets are $10 at the gate.

For more information, call (803) 642-7654.