Adrian First Fridays event features Dan Kesterke Band, art walkWritten by Renee Lapham Collins | | firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven’t yet experienced the Adrian First Friday event, this Friday is your chance.
“A Star-Spangled Friday” will be in full swing July 6, according to Erik Gable, one of the founders of the event. Among the stars will be the Dan Kesterke Band, a group featuring local musicians.
“This is a great band with local musicians who really get the crowd going,” Gable said. “It’s definitely our biggest draw. We also will have some street performers on site. What is really cool is the way people no one on the committee has heard of are coming out of the woodwork saying they think it’s cool and they want to perform at First Fridays.”
Kesterke, band director and music teacher at Adrian High School, leads the group which includes Dave Rains, Michael Bustos, Mike Williams and Natasha Ricketts. They will play from 7-9 p.m. in the city parking lot off South Winter Street, across from El Chapulin and Amedai Salon and Spa.
A preview of the Aug. 4 Goodwill Workers on Wheels Car Show is slated for the evening as well, with several cars on display, and the Adrian Farmers Market will be open for business a few additional hours on Friday. Its usual hours are 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Gable, a Toledo Free Press contributor, has been pleased with the turnout. Although he can’t say for certain how many people have attended First Fridays, “the numbers are definitely up.
“We’re definitely seeing a lot more people on the streets,” he said. “We started in March with a handful of people coming downtown and it’s really taken off since then.”
Don Taylor, who serves as the liaison between the committee and downtown businesses, agreed.
“Each month we have had more businesses staying open and hosting artists,” he said. “The number of people coming down has increased despite some bad weather and we have more entertainment.”
The “Open Mic” at Copeland Furniture Store also has taken off with the growing popularity of the First Fridays event. Jackie Koch, who was previously attending and hosting open mic nights at different venues, wanted to encourage others to embrace the opportunity of such an experience. She has been thrilled with the response.
“The open mic is a supportive, welcoming event for anyone who wants to perform music, read poetry, or sing,” she said. “We welcome first-time performers and those with a lot of experience. Several people have performed in public for the first time at the Adrian First Fridays open mic, and have been warmly received by the audience and the other performers. We have a lot of fun!”
Gable said he first got the idea for First Fridays from an art walk he attended in Fairfield, Iowa, about 10 years ago. He contacted Koch, who had been involved in open mic nights and the idea was born. Koch has been participating in open mics for some time, including stints at the Dragonfly Artisan Tea Cottage in Sylvania and Plate 21 in Toledo.
This Friday, about two dozen business will be hosting artists and musicians during the event. Two book signings are planned and everyone attending is invited to participate in the creation of a community one-stroke mural outside of Ink Fever, Gable said. Some venues are planning their own events to coincide with the celebration. These include a Christian music concert benefiting local charities from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Steele Carriage House and a comedy show at 10 p.m. at Mandy’s Uptown Bar and Grill.
“I think people are appreciating the historic nature of our downtown and are intrigued by it,” Taylor said. “Oftentimes people don’t know what businesses we have downtown and are surprised by it. But the real plus is how much the business owners themselves have bought into the concept of First Fridays.”
For more information, call (517) 264-4804 or visit facebook.com/adrianfirstfridays.
- Adrian Public Library: Photography by Don Cellini.
- A’lahna Studio Salon: Art by Siena Heights University students; music by The Happy Little Trees from 8 to 10 p.m.
- Amedai Salon and Spa: Artwork from the Siena Heights youth art camp.
- AMVETS: One-man band Phil Tolliver, 6 p.m.
- Bellus Salon and Spa: Chair massages on the sidewalk from 5 to 7 p.m.
- Book Abbey: Oil paintings by Dian Rentschler.
- Chaloner & Co.: Woodturning by Bob Seeburger.
- Copeland Furniture: Art by Brenna Toland and Edgar Frank; open mic night for poetry and acoustic music from 7 to 9 p.m.
- Croswell Opera House: Summer salon show in the Lenawee Council for Visual Arts gallery; Broadway-themed open mic from 6 to 9 p.m.
- Get Growing: Artwork by Sydney Wlodyka; musician Jeremy Blaska.
- Governor Croswell Tea Room: Book signing with novelist Jim Kelly and poet Elizabeth Sanchez from 6 to 8 p.m.
- Image Gallery: Photography by Mark Hutchinson; music by The Regular Band.
- Ink Fever: One-stroke community mural outdoors.
- Jeff Willet’s Powerhouse Gym: Life-sized portraits by Michelle Leman.
- Joe Ann Steele Insurance Center: Photography by Connie McComb-Brown; artists from Goodwill Industries of Southeast Michigan; music by The Paniagua Family starting at 6 p.m.
- K&M Gift Shoppe: Silver jewelry by Janet Graham.
- Lenawee’s Heart and Soul: Children’s author Joseph Pino reading from and signing copies of his book, “Nigel the Narwhal,” plus music by singer/songwriter Paul Davis.
- Mandy’s Uptown Bar and Grill: Comedian Dave Jones performing at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10; for information, call (517) 920-9155.
- Maple City Floral: Mixed media art by Jana Penrod.
- Nova’s Scented Candles and Collectibles: Drawings by Trevor Hissong.
- Persnickety: Beaded jewelry by C.J. Bauschka.
- ReBicycle Lenawee: Bicycle-related exhibits.
- Red Paint Printing: Ceramics by Ben Coffman.
- Sauce Italian Grill and Pub: Live music.
- Steele Carriage House: Christian music concert organized by Big Daddyz House of Praise from 6 to 10 p.m., with a freewill donation to benefit the Lenawee County Mission and the Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Shelter.
- The Tailor’s Shop: Dimensional needle felting by Ann Chrysler.