First Friday fun to be had once more

Chris Rucker will once again perform at Grafton’s First Fridays, resuming in May after being halted by the COVID-19 Pandemic last year.

GRAFTON— As life seems to be slowly shifting back to normal, individuals are more than ready to get back out in the community and interact with their neighbors once more, while taking in all that the small town of Grafton has to offer.

And All Aboard Grafton (AAG) has recently announced that next month, citizens will have the opportunity to do just that with the return of First Fridays.

The organization met last week to begin planning and discuss preparations for the town’s first event of its kind since everything was paused in February 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Over a year later, the group couldn’t be more enthusiastic about finally being able to bring this monthly tradition back to the area in a safe manner.

“We are all excited to safely resume activities and get back to normal,” commented AAG Chairman Tom Hart. “We have a lot of rebuilding and catching up to do, in addition to celebrating new businesses and the survival of ones we’ve had.”

Thus far, AAG has confirmed several happenings in the downtown area in celebration of the beloved little town and its residents’ survival and perseverance of a pandemic.

Getting things started on Friday, May 7, musical tunes from Chris Rucker will be floating through the air, as he plays live at Espresso Yourself from 6:00-8:00 p.m., and the delightful sounds will be broadcast to the sidewalk area in front of the coffee shop, as well as in Toad Hall for individuals passing through to enjoy.

In addition, The Makers Market at Arts and Treasures will be open for the shopping pleasure of  guests with vendor Fiddle Stitch Knitting in attendance.  According to Hart,  Rainbow Sweeper demonstration will also be taking place, and the Taylor County Shrine Club will be selling Vidalia onions.

While strolling Main Street, residents will also have the opportunity to browse the lovely art work of the Taylor County Arts Council’s annual juried art show. 

Meanwhile, across the street, the Taylor County Historical Society will have an exhibit/presentation on the WV Industrial Home For Boys, in which all alumni of that academy are welcome to attend. 

Hart also reported that Head Start/Early Head Start will be providing a literacy opportunity and the chance to snap a photo with a popular character, however final details are forthcoming.

The Taylor County Family Resources will be conducting an activity for youth; details to be announced at a later date.

And while the night is sure to be filled with joy and celebration, a group of volunteers is also wishing to coordinate a special ceremony in honor and remembrance for those who were lost to COVID-19. The event is planned to be held at the Mother’s Day Shrine plaza, and final details of this ceremony are still being ironed out.

Hart revealed that while several other individuals, groups and businesses have expressed interest in participating, he has not yet received any details or further firm commitments and suggests that anyone wishing to participate should email their event information to [email protected], at their earliest convenience it can be promoted.

“We are ready to see folk out on the sidewalks downtown again, conversing, laughing and just enjoying the atmosphere without any worries,” voiced Hart. “All Aboard Grafton invites everyone to come out May 7, and browse all the local businesses for Mother’s Day gift ideas and to welcome back our beloved First Friday activities.”

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