September's First Friday quiet in Augusta

Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 11:01 PM
Last updated Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 2:53 AM
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Emily Sneller had not been to First Friday since July, when six people were shot on Broad Street after the event ended. That night, she was walking to her car to go home when she heard the shots.

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The Spiritual Uplifters play downtown at First Friday. The event, which lasts from 5 to 9:30 p.m., was calm.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
The Spiritual Uplifters play downtown at First Friday. The event, which lasts from 5 to 9:30 p.m., was calm.


“I admit I was more than a little nervous about coming back here,” she said outside Nacho Mama’s about 8 p.m. Friday. “All I kept thinking was, what if I had been one of those people who got shot?”

Sneller and her boyfriend, Scott Masters, had a long discussion before skipping the event last month. On Thursday, after deciding they would miss it again, she had a revelation.

“I’m not going to let one event ruin a tradition I have been a part of for years,” she said. “That’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to downtown.”

Because rain dampened August’s First Friday, September was the first real test of what the event would look like after being reorganized by a task force put together by the city administrator. It went off without any issues, said Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Harold Hitchcock.

The event, which lasts from 5 to 9:30 p.m., was quiet. When the sun went down, the show of force by the sheriff’s office became apparent.

Sheila Mays, of Athens, said authorities “came out of the woodwork” around sunset. She and her daughter, Melissa, were shopping on Artist’s Row when she noticed more police cars.

“It’s very reassuring to see them here,” she said.

Hitchock said he expected a larger crowd after the high school football games ended, which was part of the reason the department once again brought dozens of officers downtown. He said there was a variety of special operation deputies patrolling.
Hitchcock said they had the same number of deputies as at last month’s event.

“We are continuing our efforts to keep everyone that comes to First Friday safe,” he said, adding that he had been approached by a few people thanking him for being there.

Although he did not think it would be a problem, Hitchcock said his patrols would also be enforcing curfew for those younger than 18.

As for Julian and Mark Godspeed, of Evans, Friday was their first First Friday and they said they could not have had a better experience.

“The vendors are lovely,” she said. “And the artwork is beautiful. We will be back.”

Comments (7)

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countyman
16822
Points
countyman 09/07/12 - 11:24 pm
3
4

The CBD should have the same

I saw the crowds of people walking up/down Broad street today, and they were all having a good time. The CBD should have the same amount of energy & foot traffic every day of the week.. Luckily the GGHF property, TEE center, renovated Miller theatre, etc will help increase the foot traffic in the CBD.. I'm getting ready for the Arts in the Heart festival later this month, and then Westobou in early October.. In order to reach the next level we need to start thinking about rail in the urban core..

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 09/08/12 - 08:00 am
1
1

CBD to Urban Core?

Unpublished

A new social planning book perhaps? Normal business is not required in this book. If we cannot create a supportive living environment, we can create theater Downtown. More of a carnival experience. Urban Core to Soho? What does the Urban Core consist of in River City? Deke Stadium surrounded by artist and alcohol? Enjoy. Bon appetite.

Little Lamb
40160
Points
Little Lamb 09/08/12 - 01:04 pm
6
0

Rail?

What would it connect?

KSL
105944
Points
KSL 09/08/12 - 02:29 pm
6
1

Next level of what?

Next level of what?

Riverman1
70617
Points
Riverman1 09/08/12 - 04:42 pm
3
1

Lionel or Thomas the Train?

Lionel or Thomas the Train?

countyman
16822
Points
countyman 09/08/12 - 07:50 pm
1
2

Next level- Moving up to a

Next level- Moving up to a higher level of sophistication, importance, creativity, or prominence...

The rail would connect the CBD, Medical District, Paine College, and possibly the ASU Summerville campus...

Start around Reynolds at either the Discovery Plaza, Riverwalk, TEE Center, or GGHF property... Move along onto Broad street probably near the Judicial Center towards the Medical District.. The rail line would then connect the Medical District to Paine College.... In the future as the ASU main campus grows faster then rail can be added into the plans..

We also need to start totally over in terms of public transportation... I would like to see the buses run until 1-2am, and then move onto 24 hrs... The airport, fort gordon, and several other routes need to be incorporated.. Purchase electric buses, and change the entire current design... Built new stations on the main roads, increase the number of buses daily, and the amount of buses running per hour...

Riverman1
70617
Points
Riverman1 09/08/12 - 10:03 pm
2
0

Countyman, so you agree?

Countyman, so you agree ASU expansion should be out from the Walton Way Campus as opposed to the Wrightsboro Rd land? That's been my contention the whole time.

How can you possibly expect a community with our downtown population and low per capita income to pay for pie in the sky projects?

countyman
16822
Points
countyman 09/08/12 - 10:25 pm
0
2

The city should be ready to

The city should be ready to break ground on some type of rail system by 2015-2017... $100 million Cancer center, $76.5 million Medical Commons, $1 million Laney Walker pedestrian park, etc in the Medical District.. Millions going into the ASU main campus, and of the course the GGHF property along the riverwalk...

I've said before Richmond County is the third wealthiest county in terms of the main cities in Georgia(Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Columbus, Macon, Athens)... The top three counties are Fulton(Atlanta), Chatham(Savannah), and Richmond(Augusta).. I'm sure the city can apply for some type of grant from the federal government...

Riverman1
70617
Points
Riverman1 09/08/12 - 11:13 pm
3
0

Huh??? What do you mean third

Huh??? What do you mean third wealthiest county? Have you seen the per capita income of Richmond County? It's $18,000.

Riverman1
70617
Points
Riverman1 09/09/12 - 11:14 am
0
0

Still trying to figure out Countyman's assertion

I THINK he means of the counties containing the major cities in Georgia, Richmond County is third wealthiest. But that's simply not the case. It has a lower per capita income than Fulton, Chatham, Muscogee and Bibb. What's left?

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