Downtown Decatur’s 3rd Friday will hit the streets this coming Friday, June 20, and from 5 to 9 p.m., the downtown area will be filled with dozens of artists and crafters, live bands, and outdoor cafés providing an evening of free family fun. Stretching from Second Avenue to Bank Street, the monthly celebration invites everyone to take a leisurely stroll through the streets, talk with local artists, and enjoy dinner in downtown Decatur.
The 3rd Friday celebration gets underway at 5 p.m. and as the sun goes down, the fun heats up. As festivalgoers peruse the many classic and antique cars displayed on Second Avenue and collector cars and motorcycles along Bank Street, some of the area’s best musicians will provide hours of entertainment. Slated to perform on the Main Stage, located on Bank Street from 6 to 8 p.m., is The Al Keith Band. Additional performers include Kim Stone (by Tallulah’s), the Morgan County Dulcimer Association (on Bank Street), Haden McLean (by The Antique Basket), Michael Barber (in Casa Grande Park), Correy MacIlveen (beside Downtown Dawgs), and Wes Woodard (by the Alabama Center for the Arts green space). Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que will host the Wheelers beginning at 8 p.m., Barry Hall is the featured entertainment at Simp McGhee’s, and the Back Alley Bistro will host Tim Tucker.
There will be plenty of hands-on fun for children throughout the evening including a Kids Zone on Second Avenue hosted by Bank Independent and the Carnegie Visual Arts Center will offer activities and a street art contest on Bank Street. Junior Dragsters will be on display in the 800 block of Bank Street.
Sponsored by Back Alley Bistro, horse drawn carriage rides will be available from the Alabama Center for the Arts to Bank Street. Following a leisurely ride through the downtown area, ask for discount meal coupons for lunch, dinner and brunch from Back Alley Bistro.
The Cupboard will host blacksmithing demonstrations by local artist Al Stephens of Pequea Valley Forge, wool felting demonstrations by fiber artist Laurie Popp, and an “Alabama Scoundrels” book signing with authors Kelly Kazek and Wil Elrick. Memi’s will have a jewelry trunk show and a Wildtree tasting and be sure to stop by the Echo Gypsy for storytelling with Joyce Billingsley from NPR.
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. A food court on Bank Street will provide a convenient location to grab a bite to eat or cool off with a beverage from Ingalls Entertainment, Bank Street Green, Downtown Dawgs, The Big Easy, and Chuck Wagon. Along 2nd Avenue, craft vendors will be selling handmade items and The Market on Bank Street will feature artists, handmade goods and locally grown fresh produce. Store specials, giveaways, and discounts will be offered at select merchants including a fashion show hosted by Beautiful Edge-A Paul Mitchell Focus Salon and Goody 2 Shoes at 7 p.m. at the salon.
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. 3rd Friday Downtown Decatur is organized by the members of the Downtown Decatur Merchants and Business Association, including Bank Independent, Bank Street Art & Antiques, Beautiful Edge-A Paul Mitchell Focus Salon, Chenault Studios & Bank Street Green, Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Decatur Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Decatur Morgan County Farmer’s Market, Ingalls Harbor, King Insurance Agency, Mellow Mushroom, Memi’s Progress Bank, Simp McGhee’s Stovall Marks Insurance, The Cupboard, and The Paper Chase.
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. Diamond 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.