There's No Gathering Like This One On Main


There is no place like Main Street on the first Friday of the month.

It is the only place you can see a sculpture of a woman in repose (Down the Street Art Gallery), stand next to a 7-foot tall cyborg (Gasoline Alley) and listen to music all in the same locale.


Mary Goddard has taken painting classes from Jim Strong for the past two years. She is one of the students in the show on Main Street during October's First Friday.

"125 years ago, the 40 or so residents of Payson gathered on Main Street to celebrate major events. We're very excited to be able to carry on and be a part of the tradition of neighbors socializing together in the historic center of town," Brenda Mooney, of Bootleg Alley Antiques and Art, said.

"I think this event serves to remind us all that the real history of Payson centers on Main Street. It had always been the social hub of town," Dan Groeneveld of Rim Sight and Sound added.

The gathering is free of charge... just like in the old days.

The Joe Miracle Band will be back playing in front of Artists of the Rim Gallery.

The Olde Tyme Music Makers will play in front of the Senior Center, which will remain open.

KRIM Radio will host a live remote.

New to First Friday this month, is the "cutting-edge" music of Vyktoria Pratt-Keating.

"She's wonderful. Ken saw her at Bookman's in Flagstaff a few years ago. This was the first Friday date she was available," Mooney said.

Keating plays a variety of rock, country, pop, folk and Celtic music, as well as writes her own songs.

The Kiwanis and Soroptimist Clubs will raise money for their club's good works -- Kiwanis are selling hot dogs and brats. Soroptimists are selling See's Chocolate.

Walkers will also be able to get a hot dog at the other end of Main at the Community Presbyterian Church.

Gwen Storybead and Jan Ransom are October's featured artists at Down the Street Art Gallery. The public is welcome to stop in and see Storybead's intricate necklaces and medicine bags, and Ransom's vibrant paintings and fabric designs.

Artists of the Rim will host three dozen students, who take instruction from three local art teachers, in their own show.

There should be about 60 or 70 paintings," Glenda Roark, of Artists of the Rim said.

Jim Strong teaches oil painting and Larry Brown teaches watercolor painting at Gila Community College. Joy Layson teaches private art students drawing and oils.

"I am excited about the show," Emily Sweet said.

She had taken ceramics and other art classes in the past, and has been studying oils under Strong since last semester.

"Jim is an outstanding instructor. He is helpful with whatever advice a student needs, whether it's light values, color or shapes," Sweet said.

Painting is a hobby right now but Sweet said she would like to stick with it. This will be her first show.

There will also be a greater gift sale at the church, featuring handcrafted items from around the world.

"At a time when we are celebrating Payson's 125th Anniversary, it's sort of fun to see so many folks returning to their roots by coming out on a Friday evening to stroll historic Main Street," Jinx Pyle said. Pyle is a cowboy, a longtime resident, author of many books on local history and owner of Git A Rope Trading Company.

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