Downtown Decatur’s 3rd Friday will hit the streets this coming Friday, July 18th, 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 and enjoy live entertainment in downtown Decatur.
The 3rd Friday celebration gets underway at 5 p.m. As festivalgoers peruse the many classic and antique cars displayed on Second Avenue, 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 local favorite Jeff Whitlow and the Old Barn Band. Additional performers include Tim Cannon (by Tallulah’s), Kim Stone (by Bank Street Green Food Court), the Morgan County Dulcimer Association (on Bank Street), Mad Hatters (by The Antique Basket), Kevin Teague and Shawn Ferguson (in Casa Grande Park) and Jason Crow (by Emiron Music). Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que will host the Wheelers beginning at 9:15 p.m. and Julian Carter is the featured entertainment at Simp McGhee’s from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Bank Street Players will perform songs from their upcoming show, “Smoke on the Mountain” on Second Avenue and Bank Street. Festivalgoers can cool off with a free snow cone from the Point Mallard Ducks Junior A Hockey Team and learn more about this new form of entertainment in Decatur. Season tickets will be available to purchase while they are still available. A complimentary VIP t-shirt will be given to current season ticket holders.
The Volunteer Center will kick off its Ducky Derby and the Amazing Duck Race at this month’s 3rd Friday. Teams will be participating in the Amazing Duck Race, a footrace completing mental and light physical challenges at different locations throughout the downtown area. Ducks will be drawn from the fountain at the Old State Bank at the end of the Amazing Duck Race. Prizes include a chance to win $100,000 or one of 20 other prizes. For more information, visit www.vcomc.org/DuckyDerby or call 256.355.8628.
There will be plenty of hands-on fun for children throughout the evening including a Kids Zone hosted by Bank Independent in the 100 block of Second Avenue (across from Bank Independent) and the Carnegie Visual Arts Center will offer activities and a chalk art contest in the 700 block of Bank Street. The Chalk Art Challenge will let students create works of art with one box of sidewalk chalk per artist. The finished drawings will be judged with the winners receiving gift certificates from downtown stores and restaurants.
Beautiful Edge-A Paul Mitchell Focus Salon will offer red and blue hair extensions under the Princess Theatre marquee from 5 to 7 p.m. Local artist Lynn Lawrence will be doing a live Bob Ross-style painting demonstration at How Bazaar. The Alabama Center for the Arts will host Pop Goes the Artist, will have a Kids Art Camp Tent and will offer free tours of the facility. The Old State Bank will also offer free tours until 7 p.m.
Who can eat the most hot dogs? Downtown Dawgs will host their annual hot dog eating contest in Jones Park at 7 p.m. Registration is required at the restaurant.
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. The Cottage House will provide a cool water station for any dogs attending and The Cupboard will have free samples of Honeypie Bakery, Clover Coffee, and Jala Jala Foods for festivalgoers to try. The Paper Chase, along with Junior League of Morgan County, will host Decatur native and author Jen Doll for a signing and reading of her new book Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest.
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.