Downtown Woodstock and downtown Canton will present their festivals for the November first Friday tonight from 6. to 9 p.m.
Woodstock’s Friday Night Live festival will feature art and wine throughout the downtown area, as a preview for the weekend’s Woodstock Art and Wine festival happening on Saturday and Sunday.
Downtown Canton’s festival will feature music from a Journey cover band, and organizers encourage visitors to dress in their best ’80s outfits.
Stores will stay open late and vendors will be on the streets for both of the city’s November celebrations.
Woodstock drinks up fest
Woodstock Director of Tourism and Visitors Center Operations Kyle Bennett said that one of the highlights of tonight’s Friday Night Live festival is a preview of the wines that will be featured during the weekend’s Art and Wine festival.
“We partnered with the Woodstock Art and Wine festival, which will be on Saturday and Sunday, and they have donated cases of wine to our event for Friday Night Live, so the bottles of wine will be spread out to the various downtown merchants and they will be offering wine samples during Friday Night Live to preview the wine that will be featured at the Art and Wine festival on Saturday and Sunday,” Bennett said Thursday.
There will be live music in front of the Seven Arrows and Cupcakelicious stores, rock and country band the Scott Glazer Trio will perform on the patio of Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza and Tony Mele will perform at Maxwell’s.
“There’s also a lot of art-related theme stuff going on. Studio 81 is having a big art show during the event, Elm Street’s resident artist Deborah Tidwell will be painting in the City Center lobby and have a lot of her artwork on display,” Bennett said. “They’ll also have an artists up there (at City Center) doing face painting, so in addition to the wine stuff there will also be a decent amount of artists set up around town.”
Main Street Nail Studio will have a pig roast, with pulled pork, Brunswick stew, refreshments and a performance by the Red White and Blues Band.
Many stores will offer discounts and sales, and the Wright Stuff Collectables store will have free wine tasting.
“In addition to the normal Friday Night Live stuff, a lot of the stores are starting to do their big Christmas sales, so it’s a great time to maybe start your early Christmas shopping,” Bennett said. “A lot of the stores will have games and activities for kids, and some of the stores are catering more toward adults. Definitely the whole family can find something to do.”
Dozens of other stores in downtown Woodstock will be participating in the themed downtown festival, and Bennett reminded Woodstock scavenger hunt participants that tonight is the deadline for entries.
“If anybody was taking part in the Discover Woodstock Scavenger Hunt, they have to turn in their results at the visitors center during Friday Night Live between 6 and 9 p.m.,” he said.
Teen Arts Night will be at the City Center from 6 to 9 p.m., and creative teens are invited to share their art.
The iThink Improv Troupe will take audience suggestions and perform a comedy show at 9 p.m. at the City Center, and all seats cost $5.
Canton rocks out
Downtown Canton’s Main Street Program will host its First Friday celebration with a feature performance by Departure, a Journey tribute band.
But instead of the original plan to have the show outside, Main Street Director Meghan Griffin said that the performance was moved into the Canton Theatre because of the weather forecast.
“It’s a great venue,” Griffin said. “This will make it fun for everybody, make sure they’re warm and dry. It’s still free, but the limit on the building is 200, so we will be cutting it off once we get to capacity.”
Griffin said that the last several First Friday performances have drawn as many as 400 to 1,000 people, and said that as people leave the show, others will be admitted.
The tribute band will perform from 8 to 10 p.m., and Georgia Senate District 14 candidate Matt Laughridge will have a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. before Departure takes the stage.
“We’ll still have the vendors on the sidewalks, people will still be able to shop, they can go to one of the downtown restaurants for a drink and then come back out, so it’ll still be a lot of fun,” Griffin said. “It’s just going to be arranged a little different this time because the weather is throwing curve balls at us.”
The festival theme is the ’80s, and Griffin said she hopes to see everyone dressed up in clothes from that decade.
“We’re asking everyone to come dressed in their ’80s finery since it’s a Journey tribute band, so if you want to rock the big bangs or a Members Only jacket or whatever you want to wear to bring it back to the ’80s, we’d love to see it,” Griffin said.
Griffin said rain would mean no customary classic car show, as the rain isn’t good for the old cars. Main Street will not be closing tonight, as usual, and Griffin reminded visitors to use extra caution when crossing the streets.
Despite the threat of rain, Griffin said tonight’s festival should be fun, and she expects a good turnout.
“We’d been watching the Weather Channel, it kept moving up from 40 percent, to 60 percent, to 70 percent and now 100 (percent chance of rain),” Griffin said. “So we decided, especially with the quality band that we’re bringing out and how excited people are for it, I really wanted there to be a good turnout. If it’s cold and wet, a lot of people (wouldn’t) want to brave those elements.”