Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Strut Your Mutt at Downtown Decatur’s 3rd Friday Set for April 18

Downtown Decatur’s 3rd Friday will hit the streets April 18th and this month’s celebration invites four-legged companions to come strut their stuff in a parade through the downtown area. Along with the dog parade, this month’s 3rd Friday also offers a visit with the award-winning Belle Chevre goat cheese creamery, live music, a classic car cruise-in, the Songwriter Series at the Princess Theatre, and other family-friendly activities.

3rd Friday gets underway at 5 p.m. and festivalgoers are invited to spend the evening looking at a wide variety of antique cars along Bank Street and 2nd Avenue while enjoying some of the area’s best musicians. Slated to perform on the Main Stage, located at the corner of Bank Street and Church Street, is 5 o’clock Charlie. Throughout the evening, The Morgan County Dulcimer Association, Austin High school Jazz Band, Scott Boyer, the Ben Parker Project, Laura Lynn Hardy, and the U.S. Army Materiel Command Rock Band will also entertain festivalgoers as they make their way down Bank Street and 2nd Avenue.

The highlight of the evening is set to take place at 6:30 when the dog parade, sponsored by Downtown Dawgs, makes it way down Second Avenue to Bank Street and ending at Founder’s Park. Participants must register beginning at 6 p.m. in front of The Antique Basket on Second Avenue. All participants will receive a free goody bag.

The Cupboard on Bank Street will host a visit with Tasia Malakasis from the award-winning Belle Chevre who will be providing a free artisan goat cheese tasting from 5 to 8 p.m. Along with the yummy goat cheese samples, Queen Bee Jam will offer free jam tastings.

Live music can also be found at the Princess Theatre located on 2nd Avenue. Presented by Budweiser, the Jim Parker’s Songwriter Series will be held at the Princess Theatre and will feature Lisa Carver ( and Aaron Barker ( Tickets are $10 each.

There will be plenty of entertainment for children throughout the evening including a Kids Zone on Second Avenue by Bank Independent. The Carnegie Visual Arts Center will offer activities and art on Bank Street. From 5 to 7 p.m., children and adults are invited to take a step back in time with a free tour of the Old State Bank.

The downtown area boasts an eclectic mix of restaurants and a variety of locally owned boutiques line the streets offering plenty of dining and shopping opportunities for festivalgoers. Casa Grande Park on 2nd Avenue will be filled with craft vendors selling handmade items and artists and artesian goods vendors will be set up along Bank Street selling their works of art.

Additional activities taking place in the downtown area include the Beautiful Edge – A Paul Mitchell Focus Salon’s Cut-A-Thon in Jones Park with proceeds benefiting the Decatur Animal Services and Relay for Life and the Hospice of the Valley Celebrating Life 5K and Remembrance Mile Walk at the Hospice of the Valley Memory Garden located at 240 Johnston Street SE. The 5K gets underway at 7 p.m. with the Remembrance Mile following at 8 p.m.

MCATS will provide transportation between Bank Street and Second Avenue for $1 per person, per ride. Pickup locations are at the Alabama Center for the Arts parking lot on Second Avenue and beside Tammy Eddy Antiques and Interiors on Bank Street.

Participating streets in 3rd Fridays include 2nd Avenue, Bank, Market, Moulton, Grant, and Johnston streets. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.

The Downtown Merchants Association wishes to thank the City of Decatur Parks and Recreation Department for the tremendous support they provide to the event as an in-kind sponsor. Presenting sponsor is Budweiser. Platinum Sponsor is Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority. Gold Sponsors include Bank Independent, BP, Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, Progress Bank, and Morgan County Commission. Silver Sponsors are Nucor Steel and 3M. Bronze Sponsors are Renasant Bank, Stovall-Marks Insurance, Beautiful Edge-A Paul Mitchell Focus Salon, and King Insurance Agency.

For more information, call Ashley Ashwander at 256.355.8993 or visit 3rd Friday’s Facebook page for the latest information.

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