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ALLIANCE − February’s First Friday celebrates Valentine’s Day with a scavenger hunt, chocolate walk, food and more activities.
The event is Feb. 3 between 117 E. Main St. and 501 E. Main St. in downtown Alliance. It starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m.
Be prepared for the elements. It is expected to be a chilly night.
“All the businesses will be open as warming spots,” said Ed Albert, owner of Pocket Change Antique Mall and one of the First Friday organizers.
Among the many activities planned for First Friday, these highlight the event:
Albert said there also will be a Valentine’s Day photo booth at Celebration Destination, food vendors and the “Love Doctor.”
“We always try to find something in that month that everybody recognizes,” Albert said. “We always look for a plus one.”
Downtown merchants started Alliance’s monthly First Friday events in December, adopting a concept that other cities and villages have used to increase foot traffic and community interest.
For example, Canton has hosted First Friday events for many years.
After two events, Albert said First Fridays have helped merchants draw new faces into their stores, increased foot traffic and noticed return customers. It has been effective, he said.
“We’re trying to bring the street back to having people walking up and down it,” he said. “The most enjoyable thing is seeing people having fun, walking up and down the street, enjoying themselves.”
Sherry Groom, owner of several downtown businesses, including The Troll Hole Museum, said all the merchants are committed to the First Friday concept, calling it, “surprisingly effective.”
“The First Friday program gives us a chance to showcase what we have downtown and all the new business that are there,” and change misconceptions of the area, Groom said.
Reach Benjamin Duer at 330-580-8567 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @bduerREP.