The Tallahassee community showed up to First Friday at Railroad Square Art Park in bunches despite the humid heat conditions.
First Friday is hosted by the Cultural Arts Alliance at Railroad Square (CAARS), a non-profit group led by executive director, Laura Floyd.
Railroad Square's First Friday Gallery Hop has a long history, growing and attracting more people each year since its inception 15 years ago.
“In it's first couple of years, it attracted only a few hundred people,” Laura said. “Over the years, it has grown into thousands.”
Jason McIntosh, co-owner of “Divvy Up Socks” has been selling their “fun socks” at the last five First Fridays at the art park. He said what he enjoys most about the event is the diverse crowd.
“The thing about First Friday that’s different from any part of town is that you get a group of diverse people,” McIntosh said. “You get a little bit of older people, younger people, and some students and a bunch of different items.”
Many of Tallahassee’s local businesses and local artists set up around the park to gain more exposure among the Tallahassee community.
Mickey McFarland, employee at The Other Side Vintage, said that First Friday benefits all of the local businesses in Tallahassee.
“It’s really good because it brings in a lot of people,” McKenzie said. “They get to see all the local stuff and it helps keep the money in there.”
Jacqueline Sirianni, Editing, Writing and Media student at Florida State University attends First Friday a lot. She said she likes walking around and browsing different vendors around the park.
“What I really enjoy about this is the sights, you may see some vendors that you have never heard of because they’re not a big business yet,” said Sirianni. “They might have some nicer things than other vendors with a larger status, and I support that.”
Floyd said that Friday’s event, with the big turnout, was better than she and the vendors expected.
“Last night's event was very successful,” Floyd said. “Despite the heat and humidity, several thousand people attended and all appeared to have a wonderful time. It far exceeded the expectations of RRSQ management and many of its vendors.”
First Friday is held every month at the art park, so if you missed out in June, you can get a chance in July.
For more information about First Friday at Railroad Square visit http://www.tallahasseedowntown.com/events/first-friday-railroad-square-3.