Calera’s July First Friday festival sees record numbers

Published 8:51 am Friday, July 8, 2022

By MEG HERNDON | Staff Writer

CALERA – Thousands of people gathered on Calera Main Street to take part in the Independence Day-themed July First Friday festival.

Main Street’s First Friday festival takes place each month and showcases local vendors, artisans, musicians, food trucks and specials from the Main Street merchants. This month’s festival centered around celebrating the Fourth of July. The night ended with the second annual Calera Fireworks Show which was put on in collaboration with Calera Parks and Recreation.

“The event went amazingly well,” said Jackie Batson, executive director of Calera Main Street. “A lot of people traveled a good way just to see the fireworks.”

Compared to the previous year when they held the fireworks show, the number of attendees for this month’s festival broke records, with an estimated attendance of over 2,000. While the festival began at 5 p.m., fireworks went off around 9 p.m., and according to Jackie by 8 p.m. Main Street was packed.

In addition to record attendance, the festival also had 60 vendors and seven food trucks, which was double the amount of booths that the series normally has.

Due to inclement weather, the fireworks had to be shot earlier than expected, but that did not dampen the festive spirit.

“The rain was a challenge, but we rolled with it.” Batson said.

The fireworks show was bigger than last year, with Calera Parks and Recreation adding more fireworks to the lineup. Batson said that Parks and Rec scheduled and orchestrated the show well despite the fight against the rain.

Batson extended her gratitude to everyone who had a hand in putting on the festival.

“We would like to thank the city of Calera, specifically the Parks and Recreation Department who co-sponsored this with the Calera Main Street merchants. The Calera Fire Department who managed the fireworks show for us, the Calera Police Department who kept us safe and all of our Main Street volunteers,” Batson said.

There will be one final First Friday festival this year on Friday, Aug. 5.

“We are looking forward to that because it’s going to be all about back to school,” Batson said.