Loud cheers, the sound of children playing, and music-filled streets are set on Macomb for The “Frenchtown Get Down” block party. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday. This event was a free outdoor concert for friends & family that will continue to happen each Friday night prior to each FAMU home football game.
To ensure public safety, Macomb Street, between Carolina Street and Brevard Street will be closed at 3 p.m. Then these streets will be reopened later on by 11:30 p.m.
This is the second out of the six Frenchtown Get Down events. Downtown Get Down used to take place on Adams Street in Historic Downtown on the Friday night before the home games of the FSU Seminoles & FAMU Rattlers. Back in August 2017, Florida State University relocated its block party to CollegeTown.
“I discovered at a Downtown improvement authority meeting that they were going to discontinue the Downtown Get Down. I thought it would be great if we can bring a similar model to Frenchtown,” said K Lennorris Barber. Who is executive director of the Mt. Olive Housing and Community Development Corp., organizing the events.
For over 50 years, the FAMU homecoming parade has always taken place in Frenchtown. But in October 2015 FAMU administrators decided to move the parade closer to campus so students have better accessibility.
“The thing that is probably most important to us is that we want to reconnect the historic black community of Frenchtown to the historic university of the highest of 7 hills, FAMU. We would like to have the parade come back to Frenchtown,” Barber said.
Barber isn’t the only one focused on reconnection. One of tonight’s vendors, Erin Gaines is excited about the reconnection as well.
When asked what made you want to come out to tonight’s event, Gaines said, “Well, I am from Tallahassee and we haven’t done a Frenchtown event like this in a really long time. Soon as I heard it was coming back, I was excited.”
Gaines is a business representative of “Absolutely U” that sells official collegiate, spirited accessories, and fashions.
“Tonight feels like a mini homecoming to me! I am seeing people I haven’t seen in 20 years,” said Gaines.
Jasmine Ali who is a senior at Florida State University, believes that this is an event that should keep going on even after football season.
“It’s quite exciting to see people from our community come out and enjoy themselves while buying from black vendors and enjoy the black entertainment. We need to create more havens for our children and families especially in the evenings” said Ali.
The next Frenchtown Get Down event will take place October 4 to celebrate The FAMU Rattlers as they take on North Carolina Central at 6 p.m. Saturday at Bragg Memorial Stadium.