Taste buds put to use in downtown Statesboro

Alexandra McCray

This edition of downtown Statesboro’s monthly celebration, F1rst Friday, gives attendees a chance to try food from downtown Statesboro’s new and old restaurants in “Taste of Downtown.”

Guests will be able explore shops and businesses downtown while sampling appetizers from a vast array of local restaurants.

The event will take place from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Tickets will be sold the day of the event on the courthouse lawn for $5. The fee will include a wristband and map of participating businesses.

“It’s one of our largest First Friday’s of the year, we have 31 businesses and partners that participate in the event and it’s always a great turnout,” Andrew Mullen, executive director of Main Street Statesboro/Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, said.

F1rst Friday is held every month at the courthouse lawn and is organized by Downtown Statesboro Development Authority in an effort to draw out Statesboro residents and showcase Main Street and Statesboro community events.

“Main Street restaurants and vendors greatly support and enjoy First Friday, it gets the essence of the Main Street and downtown community,” Seni Alabi-Isama, owner of South and Vine Public House, said.

“First Friday captures what we’re about, local and well executed food and service. That’s what you want to see from any establishment, especially a local one,” Alabi-Isama said.

Along with food, shopping and crafts Pladd Dot School of Rock will host two free concerts. One of which will feature Sean Kent, who will be performing in front of Sweet Cheeks Bakery.

Local blues band, The Chris Mitchell Band, will be performing a free concert at 7p.m.

“He’s very well known in the area. He’s done shows at Van Gogh’s and places like that, so he’s got a big local following,” Mullen said.

By having popular bands perform, arts and crafts and special entertainment for children, Taste of Downtown is offering something for all attendees.

The main goal this year with the lower price will attract budget conscious Georgia Southern University students who may have never even driven downtown to come and see what the local businesses have to offer, Mullen said.

“Just the opportunity to have something fun to do downtown and go hang out with girl friends or on a date or something makes it something I’d be interested in going to,” Nicole Nielson, a sophomore child and family development major, said.

Mullen said, “It’d be a shame to go to Georgia Southern University and never explore down town.”