Consider First Friday ideas

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There are multiple concerns involving First Friday in downtown Augusta.

First, there is the special tax that was implemented to cover the cost of the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative. Then there is the concern of underage teens getting out of hand. Next, there is the issue of organization – in other words, who’s in charge?

Maybe this is the time to totally revamp the downtown venue, perhaps redefining the entire entertainment perspective altogether. How about something like the “Downtown Entertainment District”? Within this specified district will be certain codes of conduct and policies pertaining to cleanliness standards, pets, dress code, vendors, law enforcement, entertainment and any other elements that apply. If you are going to play host to an event in the downtown area that could attract, say, hundreds of people, including children and handicapped people, then why wouldn’t you block off the streets except for emergency vehicles, and arrange crowd control ropes?

What about a fee for all vendors selling merchandise downtown? The fees collected could go to the Downtown Development Authority as a means of offsetting project costs.

Instead of First Friday, how about First Saturday, which would begin with the Farmer’s Market followed by family entertainment? And yes, there needs to be attractions for kids and teens. If properly organized on Saturdays, we could have an event that is dynamic in scope; prosperous to the city and business owners; and, not least of all, essential in establishing our city as the next oasis of the South in terms of tourism.

What do you think of a First Sunday event in the south Augusta area? This could feed off of the success of First Saturday and provide a safe and exciting event for those citizens on the other side of town who are not inclined to go downtown, and who probably would appreciate an organized family event on a Sunday afternoon, and on their side of town.

Also, by having an event in south Augusta on Sunday, this could draw citizens from, say, Wrens, Burke County, Swainsboro, Beech Island and other areas. All family events would have organized attractions for young and old, adequate security, welcomed vendors etc. You enforce a reasonable dress code – i.e., no saggy pants, no bandannas or any clothing resembling gang affiliations; no pets; and no outside liquor consumption.

This letter is but a suggestive overview for family-oriented activities that we could easily carry out. How about an annual Third Sunday Back-to-School Blast!

Brian Green

Augusta

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Riverman1
82234
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Riverman1 08/11/12 - 10:16 am
2
0
Have a Black Oriented First Friday

Let's be real. The county is 60 percent black, the old city area much more. So just have a black oriented First Friday with such things as black bikers coming into town. Vendors with products catering to blacks, maybe some church involvement and some rap music going on outside.

soapy_725
43672
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soapy_725 08/11/12 - 10:38 am
0
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River you are un PC, but dead on
Unpublished

The majority of ARC citizens, by cultural choice, are not necessarily interested in an "artsy, strolling on the Rue de Paris", Soho or Buckhead. Wine , cheese and art critics. But this concept is being force feed by the DDA and others. Whose main goal is to have all of the taxpaying citizens of ARC to pay for "their (the few) choice of entertainment." Other comparable city nearby have daily downtown activities that require no preplanning or control. They just happen. Greenville SC is a good nearby example. The environment is pleasant, appealing, impromptu and safe without all of the BS.

What would draw people downtown and result in sales and growth is to bring back the businesses that support the majority of ARC citizens. What does this group want downtown? The DDA and the government does not care what they want. Despots always know what "you want and need" without asking. Sort of like "god"?

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 08/11/12 - 10:41 am
0
0
Some real shopping opportunities on Broad St
Unpublished

not a carnival. But ARC is the "city of the Perpetual Circus"?

countyman
19718
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countyman 08/11/12 - 01:52 pm
0
1
Why do you want Richmond

Why do you want Richmond County to become 60% black so bad? I've already commented on here the stats are wrong, and you continue to say them anyway..

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/11/12 - 03:42 pm
1
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First Friday is a Stupid Event
Unpublished

Augusta is about 60% black. Not that there is anything wrong with that.. just a fact. I don't understand why there needs to be any First Friday. The event is totally stupid as far as I am concerned. People either want to go downtown or they don't. If you have to event some tacky monthly street carnival to get people to go downtown one day out of the month.. then that is your problem.

countyman
19718
Points
countyman 08/11/12 - 04:15 pm
0
1
Augusta isn't about 60%

I don't think it's an coincidence the same two people who love to bash Augusta, don't even know the demographics..

Augusta isn't about 60% black.. About 60% black would be around 58% or 59% which is not fact... The black population will never get that high, and plus it's stagnant... The Central Business District and Olde Town(apart of the old city) are two of the main areas with the fastest growing white populations...

Plenty of people visit downtown outside of First Friday also..

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/13/12 - 12:56 am
0
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Countyman what are you implying?
Unpublished

The city is about 60% black and will get there very soon and pass it.. that is the direction of Richmond County. And so what is wrong with that? Seems natural to me. Are you implying that blacks are bad? How is it bashing Augusta to state the obvious that Augusta is majority black? So is Atlanta.

And you are dead wrong once again about downtown and Old Town being the fastest growing areas of Augusta... are you kidding? Do you realize that both neighborhoods are in the commission district 1? Did you not know that Dist one had the highest population loss of any commission district in the entire county according to the latest census? It lost over 4500 people. It is not growing.. in fact it is shrinking. Sorry that facts have to get in your way.

Gary Ross
3346
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Gary Ross 08/13/12 - 01:36 pm
0
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Brian intened for his idea to

Brian intened for his idea to be open to all people. You know, the general population of the area, and family oriented. If you start catering to special interest groups, you'll soon have gays, flesh piercers, goldfish swallowers, and the KKK coming in wanting their day in the spotlight. What would that do for Augusta? Please stick to the point. Brian, it's a great article and idea!

Except for the "T" word (tax).

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