Main Street Celebrating Year Of Firsts

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The merchants of Main have a good reason to celebrate and so does Down the Street Art Gallery.

Today, May 2, the merchants are celebrating a year of First Friday Art and Antique Walks and the "outside-the-box" gallery is marking its first year in business.

Mike Stuart, Brenda and Ken Mooney and Minette Richardson never had any doubts that if people were invited to stroll down the street, they would.

Jerome, Sedona, Scottsdale and Flagstaff all have successful art walks.

The merchants knew some people would window-shop and some would buy.

They figured that in this friendly community, when people met their neighbors, friends and tourists, they would stop to converse and perhaps stroll on together.

They were right to believe that the draw of First Friday would spread by word of mouth and print.

It has, because the merchants aim to have something for everyone.

Folk of the Rim do not often ignore the offer of free hors d'oeuvres. Both Down the Street and Artists of the Rim vie in friendly competition for who has the most delicious goodies.

Down the Street is celebrating their year anniversary specifically with wine tasting from The Beverage House.

Those with heartier appetites can usually buy brats or hot dogs from the Kiwanis Club brat mobile.

People with a sweet tooth for the dark brown confection known as chocolate can buy it from Soroptimists and at the Community Presbyterian Church.

Live music is becoming a bigger and better part of the art walk.

Joe Miracle and Eddie Armer have brought their respective bands to serenade the strollers along the street. The duo of Kathleen Kelly and Jim West has regaled people with their songs and ready wit. Vyktoria Pratt Keating lent a Celtic flavor to the December First Friday.

This month, the Main Street Grille has sponsored Cody Gibson and Code Blue.

KRIM radio will have a live remote at Down the Street. KCMA will have their boom box set up near the Grille. There will be jazz at Bootleg Alley. The Community Presbyterian Church plans to have music as well.

Classic cars, often with hoods up and owners eager to share the stories of their custom machines, line the road where cowboys once hitched their horses.

Business owners have endured First Fridays with rain and First Fridays with snow, but the weather for their one-year birthday features just clear, breezy, mountain-perfect air.

The merchants have even arranged for a shuttle for walkers with tired feet.

As the 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. event comes of age, the summer and future look bright.

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