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Downtown beat

Venues, galleries display local color

Special to The Battalion

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 17:09

first friday

FILE — The Battalion


The first Friday of every month brings a unique celebration of arts and culture in Historic Downtown Bryan.

First Friday is a community-wide event that gives the small town a chance to show off its local artists and musicians, as well as the cultural diversity in the newly renovated downtown.

“In 2005, I started ‘First Fridays at The Gallery’ here at my gallery. Since
then, First Friday has grown into a monthly event,” said Greta Watkins, owner of The Frame Gallery in downtown. “Now it ­involves many of the downtown businesses as well as highlighting the art and culture available in the downtown area.”,

 Watkins still coordinates the event and has a simple phrase when it comes to First Friday: “Art & music, food & friends.”

As part of the First Friday festivities, a group of Aggies ride their bikes from Northgate to Downtown Bryan. Amir Sohrabi Mollayousef, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, enjoys the bike ride and sees it as a way to get together with friends.

“This gives us a chance to enjoy the road along with our fellow riders with fun and foods in destination,” Mollayousef said. “Nothing will taste better than a nice dinner with friends after a long bicycle ride.”

This Friday, The Frame Gallery will feature the Randy Watkins Jazz Band from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The gallery will also showcase original artwork by more than 50 artists from the local area.

The Village Café also plays a big part in the cultural experience of First Friday.

 “Our art gallery will feature original artwork by John Inglis, and there will be two bands featured: ‘Votary’ at 6:30 p.m. and ‘Redroom’ at 8:30 p.m. At 11 p.m. the Fort Worth Poetry Slam Team will perform,” said Bethany Butler, an employee at The Village.

First Friday goers can also watch a movie on the big screen outdoors. Madden’s Casual Gourmet Restaurant will sponsor a showing of How to Train Your Dragon in Gloria Stephan Sale Park. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs. Chef Tai’s Mobile Bistro, named America’s Favorite Food Truck by Food Network, will also be at Sale Park.

First Friday in Downtown Bryan is a tradition in its eighth year. All events are free to the public. Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. and continue until midnight.

For a full list of events for Friday evening, visit the September First Friday Facebook page.

“I am expecting to listen to almost every kind of live music in the bars in downtown Bryan; there will be music everywhere in the streets,” Mollayousef said. “There will also be a few art galleries which are always interesting to visit. Dining places are diverse and nice in downtown Bryan.”

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