Why not First Saturday?

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The simple solution to solve the First Friday issue would be to change it from Friday to Saturday.

“First Saturday” could start about 10 a.m. and run until 3 p.m. or so. You could include the many galleries, shops, restaurants and even the Saturday Farmers Market at Augusta Common. Perhaps some performing arts groups would participate and help grow their audiences with free performances. It could become the once-awesome event it was.

This small change in itself would make this a family-friendly event and attract a clientele that would actually spend money with the downtown merchants.

The people who cause the trouble would be at home in bed at 10 a.m. and not even think of being out before dark because that’s not cool. The need for security would be minimal, and a side benefit would be the thugs who act up may quit going to Broad Street and downtown at night because there would be less reason to.

Yes, it would be hot during the summer but that doesn’t stop events in Charleston, S.C., and Savannah. It would put the focus back on the arts community and the downtown merchants where it needs to be. Who knows? Somewhere in the mix maybe Riverwalk could be reborn.

The sheriff’s office is tasked with public safety. However, it’s difficult to form a plan for security when there is no one to work with. It’s not the sheriff’s responsibility to organize the parties who benefit from this event. I feel certain the sheriff will do more than his part to ensure the success of any event in Richmond County.

The downtown area has prospered despite the efforts of local government. In the 1980s, Broad Street was a ghost town. Look at it now. Because of the efforts of some downtown merchants, it prospers. It’s always busy during the day and is crowded at night. Some of the area’s finest restaurants are downtown. The only time safety is a concern is the first Friday of each month. And despite recent events, it is safe to be downtown.

These merchants and the Downtown Development Authority need to step up to the plate and organize First Saturday, and watch this event return to its glory days.

Comments (12) Add comment
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ByGeorge
117
Points
ByGeorge 07/12/12 - 12:22 am
10
0
I've been saying this all

I've been saying this all along. It just makes sense. I don't know whysome people fail to see the logic in this.

countyman
20120
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countyman 07/12/12 - 12:36 am
6
3
Excellent letter.... It's sad

Excellent letter.... It's sad when crime is the only time the the local media wants to brings downtown into the spotlight.. They never bring up the daily progress, or seek out people who love and think downtown is safe.. 95% of the crime reported as 'downtown' in the local media happens outside of the CBD.. This is the first shooting in along time, and downtown is overall safe.. If you continue to increase the new lighting, renovate vacant buildings, etc.. Then you can help change the 'perception in the minds of some people... People who claim downtown isn't overall safe will bring up the recent events at First Friday, but never mention Candlelight Jazz, gay parade & festival, Arts in the Heart, Westobou, ESI Ironman, Southern Nationals, Saturday Market, etc which have zero problems with public safety...

Cities need to have events such as First Friday and First Saturday.. There's alot of people in the age range between 20-30 who don't want to attend 'family' type of events.... Especially since we trying to attract young people to our new university...

The cameras in the CBD that have been discussed need to become reality... The best answer is to have an substation in the CBD, Medical District, East Augusta, Harrisburg, and Bethlehem/MLK... I don't see enough cops walking or riding bikes in the urban core of Augusta... The private construction is taking place all over the CBD, but it's up to the city to speed things up.... There should be an event at the Augusta Common, 8th street Plaza, Jessie Norman theatre, and Riverwalk every week..

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 07/12/12 - 08:12 am
1
1
Light Pollution

No one needs to increase lighting downtown. It's bright enough now.

NASA on Light Pollution

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 07/12/12 - 09:19 am
6
0
Use Tiki Torches with

Use Tiki Torches with citronella.

And First Saturday is the obvious better option. Was all along. Sometimes we can't see our nose despite it being in the middle of our faces yes?

Riverman1
83947
Points
Riverman1 07/12/12 - 09:37 am
7
0
A theme I keep seeing is bar

A theme I keep seeing is bar owners wanting to keep First Friday going. They are opposed to it becoming a family affair on Saturday.

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 07/12/12 - 02:46 pm
2
0
Call it Sensational Saturday Instead
Unpublished

I agree with this letter except for calling it First Saturday. That doesn't have a nice ring to it, and what if the event needed to be moved to the second or third Saturday for some reason? Sensational Saturday would work no matter what Saturday you held it on and would help move past the whole First Friday violence stigma.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 07/12/12 - 03:05 pm
1
3
I disagree with most of you.

I disagree with most of you. The bars and alcohol are not the problem. Its the punk teens that insist on being thugs and causing probles. Just ask the Regal Cinema management what kind of problems these thugs cause, and the last time I checked they don't sell alcohol. Stop blaming everyone and put the blame where it belongs with the thugs and their parents.

Riverman1
83947
Points
Riverman1 07/12/12 - 07:08 pm
1
0
Teen clubs don't sell alcohol

Teen clubs don't sell alcohol either and the county shuts them down if there's trouble.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/12/12 - 07:11 pm
1
0
I like it. As to the bar

I like it. As to the bar owners, they are not the ones struggling for business.

itsanotherday1
43196
Points
itsanotherday1 07/12/12 - 08:22 pm
0
0
I could go for the first Sat

I could go for the first Sat idea too, but as HS said, don't put it on bar owners. When we run from the thugs we've done nothing to teach them their behavior is unacceptable.

If there is a move to First Sat, I hope the merchants open late band together to promote a special night to bring people in; cheap drinks, cheap entertainment or the like. Or, they could hire some street performers to do some acts on the sidewalk, etc. Maybe have a bike night downtown. Anderson, SC has or had a businessman's day where the downtown restaurants offered discounted food and beverage. I think anyone could attend, but it was intended to attract all of the people working in the downtown area to stop after work for food and drink.

itsanotherday1
43196
Points
itsanotherday1 07/12/12 - 08:24 pm
0
0
Just to repeat HS; it isn't

Just to repeat HS; it isn't the people going to bars, it is neer-do-wells just hanging out, not spending a dime.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 07/13/12 - 09:01 am
0
0
Bar business shouldn't need

Bar business shouldn't need First Friday. The CBD should be healthy enough to support them. It's doesn't make a lick of sense to fuse family themes with nite-clubbing. Seperate it and let the bars come up with their thing and Saturdays can be for culture, etc. It sets up the evenings for the bars real nice.

Day1 has the right idea with a BIKE nite! Tie in the Greenway.org project so that folks can peddle down there and walk the bikes back home if they have tee many martoonies.

Riverman1
83947
Points
Riverman1 07/13/12 - 04:57 pm
0
0
I am not saying close the bars down.

I'm saying close down First Friday. Shake down trouble makers out late on the street, enforce curfew laws and so on until the thing ends. What does bother me with the bar owners is suggestions to end First Friday are met with hostility. They are afraid they won't have as many bar patrons if the whole thing is deemphasized.

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