First Friday Now A Year-Round Event

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Foot traffic doubled at the August First Friday Art and Antiques Walk, up and down Payson's Main Street.

Main Street Merchants are so elated with the success, they plan to host the event year-round.

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Greg "Brother Love" Schloesser and Frank Schaefer, two members of the Taylor Brothers Jam Band, liven up First Friday on Main Street.

"When our traffic doubled in July, we were really encouraged. To see it double again in August was beyond our expectations," Dick Wolfe, of Artists of the Rim Fine Art Gallery, said.

"Anytime you get people out and about walking, it's a good thing," George Assyd said at the August First Friday.

"It is nice to get into the cool stores," Norma Assyd added.

Many September highlights

The Community Presbyterian Church will have handcrafted items from around the world for sale.

Classic cars and sports cars will be on display. Al Zaremba enjoyed talking with car fans about the 1929 Ford Roadster he is building, while, at the other end of Main, "Big Al" was among the Rim Country Sports Club members showing off their cars. Al's beauty is his 1941 Ford sedan.

Classic cars and sports cars will be on display in September.

Many merchants will again offer free refreshments.

Kiwanis will sell their famous hot dogs and brats and the Soroptimist Club will sell See's Candy.

First Friday would not be complete without music. This month, the Joe Miracle Band, The Olde Tyme Music Makers and the Taylor Brothers Jam Band return to set toes tapping and perhaps inspire couples to dance on the sidewalk.

"This event has developed a life of its own. I can't think of anything more hometown Americana than strolling up and down Main Street on Friday night," Brenda Mooney, of Bootleg Alley Art and Antiques, said.

Art walkers can converse with artists in several places.

There will be a reception at Down the Street Gallery for master jewelry sculptor Patricia Allebrand and silk painter and ceramic artist Helen Tennent.

Bootleg Alley is hosting Marcia Buckpitt, a former art teacher at the college in Payson, in a show. Prints of Buckpitt's whimsical paintings of dogs will be available.

Al Snyder is September's featured artist at Artists of the Rim.

Payson Main Street Merchants Guild members and Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation invite everyone to visit Payson's historic Main Street for a no-cost evening of fun and entertainment, from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7.

The guild welcomes music makers, car clubs and vendors to be a part of First Fridays at no cost. Interested parties may contact Gasoline or Bootleg Alley for more information at (928) 595-0573 or (602) 859-0507.

"The on-street parking makes all the difference and we're thrilled to have it. Our hats are off to Jerry Owen and La Ron Garrett for making it possible by working out the details with the town," Debbie Stuart of Gasoline Alley said.

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