WADSWORTH — From a Hot Cocoa Crawl to PiratePalooza, Main Street Wadsworth will launch the first of its First Friday events with the new year.
Adrianne Krauss, executive director of Main Street Wadsworth, said she has been working on creating a First Friday series to showcase Wadsworth’s downtown since she began her role as director in May.
“It has been seven months in the making,” Krauss said. “I basically have studied Main Street cities all over the country, and I looked at the different themes and events that each city was focusing on for each month.”
The First Friday concept is growing in popularity across the country, as downtown organizations are looking for a way to get community members into a routine visiting their historic downtowns, she said.
“The community just gets into a routine of coming downtown the first Friday of each month,” she said.
More than 25 businesses will participate in the 5-9 p.m.
Jan. 5 event downtown including The Fabric Peddler, 139 College St., which will serve chocolate-dipped marshmallows, and Ritzman Pharmacy, 120 High St., which will offer hot cocoa and feature a giant floor keyboard for kids to play.
Krauss said she already has received positive feedback about First Friday from downtown business owners.
“They are all excited to see something new and different downtown,” she said.
Rather than having an event with outside vendors and the streets closed, Krauss said First Friday will be an open event, giving the downtown businesses a chance to shine.
“I truly want to create a ‘shop local’ culture,” she said. “I want our downtown businesses to benefit as much as they can from these downtown events.”
Krauss said that in addition to historic preservation, Main Street Wadsworth promotes economic revitalization for Wadsworth’s historic downtown.
“We want our downtown to be an economic engine for the city of Wadsworth, and that means making our downtown businesses as successful as we can, and First Friday is a way for us to showcase those businesses.”
For information on upcoming Wadsworth First Friday events, visit mainstreet wadsworth.org.
Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.