First Fridays draw big crowds

By Laura Brookhart/Community Columnist

“We estimate about 5,000-plus people were in the immediate vicinity of Old Town on Friday, July 3, for the monthly First Friday event (held this month Thursday, July 3) and the fireworks at the evening’s end,” Helena Mayor Mark Hall said. “Probably a couple of thousand more were watching from adjacent neighborhoods.”

CUTLINE: Hanging baskets planted and hung by the Helena Beautification Committee earlier this summer, now have grown into their full summer beauty throughout the Old Town area. (contributed)

Hanging baskets planted and hung by the Helena Beautification Committee earlier this summer, now have grown into their full summer beauty throughout the Old Town area. (contributed)

It appeared to be the largest turnout in years, as families enjoyed vendor booths up and down the main street area, convened on the iCantina Food Truck and consumed some 400-plus Frio’s popsicles.

The street was lined with vintage model cars belonging to members of the Dixie Vintage Auto Club including a handsome blue ’65 Corvette and an Olds 442 ragtop convertible.

Sunshine and Punkin’ caterers, one of Helena’s newest businesses that is currently introducing itself at Saturday Market Days, offered a “Cuppa” with pork or chicken, cole slaw, potato salad and fresh baked roll.

The line there appeared to be long­­­, as well as backed-up-out-the-door at The Depot. Those on their way to the “island” for the traditional fireworks also noticed the Beach Side Café, another new Old Town endeavor.

Fanoula Gulas, owner of Fanoula’s Baklava and Homemade Greek Pastries, brought her goodies from Vestavia, which happened to please this columnist very much.­­­

The Ice & Coal Gallery was open, and those coming through could as well take the opportunity to see the interior of the soon-to-open Coal Yard jazz and wine bar.­­­

Across the street, at Buck Creek Stained Glass Studio, Dave Schlueter was demonstrating glass blowing to an attentive group of onlookers.

On the porch at Emmanuel Scozzaro’s Law Office, the newest organization to establish in Helena, The Lions Club, was represented by Bill May, secretary/treasurer, Rodney Clark from Anniston, and Jerran Hill.

“The Lion’s Club is actively holding open enrollment for charter members who have a heart for serving the community,” said Kristi Scozzaro, Membership Chair.

Those interested in joining the Helena branch of The Lions Club may contact Kristi Scozzaro at 205-965-3977.

The city and residents offer congratulations to the Helena Business Association, which has taken up the reins of this event, under the directorship of Alan Farmer.

 

EVENT DETAILS

What: First Friday
When: Friday, Aug. 1
Where: Old Town Helena

Details: Enjoy shopping, dining, art and music during this free family event.