Leah Elliott is a rising junior in UNC’s undergraduate departments of Political Science and Public Policy and a CCP intern working in Caswell and Lenoir Counties.
Friday, July 2nd marked the third successful month for the First Fridays program in Yanceyville, North Carolina. An idea conceived months ago by members of a local planning committee and CCP interns, “First Fridays on the Square” is quickly becoming a popular social gathering for Yanceyville residents and attendees from the surrounding counties of Person and Alamance.
That evening, a crowd of approximately fifty people watched the Small Town Orchestra perform while scattered on blankets, seated in lawn chairs and dancing to the music. The group played from 5:30 until dusk in the newly constructed amphitheater across from the town square. The town’s amphitheater is a space both being used for this summer series and by reservation for outside groups wishing to host private events.
Although there are only two First Fridays remaining this summer, growing excitement around the event will hopefully provide momentum for a continuing discussion on the development and expansion of the program for next year. CCP interns are exploring how the space might be used to house additional vendors, organizations, or local restaurants during these musical performances. Talk of a market and a children’s play area have also been mentioned to attract more families and people from out of town. CCP marketing interns will be working to find new ways to use regional media sources to advertise for “First Fridays on the Square.”
In addition to their annual September Hoedown and Christmas Parade in Yanceyville, we hope First Fridays will become a consistent feature on event calendars for residents and members of the surrounding communities. As seen in other towns in North Carolina, the large (Raleigh), the small (Southern Pines) and the smallest (Waxhaw), a successful First Fridays program can bring with it business and the arts to any area.