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Photos by: Veronica Leasure
Locals from Salisbury, NC. may already be aware of the tradition of Friday Night Out that takes place in historic downtown Salisbury. If you haven’t heard of this event and have never attended one, you are missing out. Every year Downtown Salisbury, Inc. in partnership with the downtown shops and restaurants, hosts a variety of First Friday events with fun and engaging themes and activities. Though it is a small town, Salisbury is full of culture and history and many of the events that take place downtown are reflective of this history. Themes are constantly changing and this event generally brings in a large crowd of people. On Friday March 3rd, families, friends, and students gathered in downtown Salisbury for the St. Patrick’s theme Friday Night Out.
This Live Leprechaun Challenge and Hunt for Gold was the theme for the month of March. Ranging from a variety of ages, locals could dress up as a leprechaun and claim a spot on the sidewalk located outside the many shops downtown. The challenge consisted of the person dressed up to freeze in place every half an hour or so. Usually the Friday Night Event is packed with people from all around. However, due to the cold weather, the streets seemed empty compared to the usual crowd. Though the crowd wasn’t that large, those who were enjoying the night out could be spotted through the windows of Go Burrito or other local shops taking shelter from the frigid air outside. Some shops made accommodations for customers and guests by giving them food and drink because of the harsh weather. One shop had a small table set up and offered free hot cocoa and sweet treats for a small donation to help support a local charity.
Downtown Salisbury is well known for its vibrant variety of restaurants and eateries, and many times, these local businesses are the host for young musical talent. Even so, Friday Night Out is also the perfect outlet and provides the opportunity for young musicians and local bands to come together to play their music for the community. On this night, young artist Seth Grigg & Friends could be found outside of Hap’s Grill performing songs such as Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and other soulful music. Playing with Grigg was Alex Gobbel and Drew Gobbel, who are both employed at Hap’s Grill. Usually Hap’s Grill is closed by 4 o’clock on weekdays. However, the Grill remained open to customers for Friday Night Out, which generally runs from five o’clock to nine o’clock in the evening. Local Catawba student, Veronica Leasure, reported that Hap’s hasn’t been open that late in the day in 15 years! Not only is this event the center for support of local shops and restaurants, but provides community members with entertainment and social opportunities among new talent.
Friday Night Out is an important part of Downtown Salisbury’s history and vital to the members of its community. It is family fun for all! If interested, you can visit the Downtown Salisbury, Inc. webpage http://downtownsalisbury.com/ or search Downtown Salisbury, Inc. on Facebook for upcoming events.