Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 2, 2012

First Fridays: Goshen's downtown story

GOSHEN — The streets were wet but spirits seemed high in downtown Goshen Friday night as revelers braved the weather to attend this month’s First Fridays celebration.

Held the first Friday of every month under a different theme, Friday’s celebration was built around the concept “Hear-Tell” and featured everything from the reading of children’s stories at a local book store to the event’s first official talent show.

Down on Goshen’s Main Street Friday evening, Goshen resident Deanna Klemm had just finished eating dinner with her family when she stopped to explain what it is that draws her to the monthly First Friday’s celebration.

“I just love it. I think it’s awesome,” Klemm said, adding that while work and family scheduling conflicts can sometimes make it difficult to attend the event, when she does, she always knows she’ll have a good time.

“I just wish we could come more often,” she said. “I love that you can browse the stores, see all the people, listen to music, all of that stuff. I just think it’s awesome.”

So, what caught her eye the most for this particular First Fridays event?

“Definitely the talent show,” Klemm said. “We really wanted to check that out, so we decided to come down and eat, and then go see the show.”

The first-ever First Fridays talent show kicked off at 7:30 p.m. in the Goshen Theater and featured 15 acts highlighting everything from magic to hip-hop dance to comedy and folk music.

Also on the entertainment slate for Friday’s attendees was the “Old Friends and Old Places in Downtown Goshen” storytelling event at the Goshen Historical Society.

Not to be left out, Goshen’s younger revelers also had plenty to keep them entertained during the evening’s festivities, whether it was dancing and carnival games for middle schoolers in the Goshen Theater Ballroom or coffee, music and games at Bosco’s Place for the teen set.

And for littlest of Friday’s visitors, downtown bookstore Better World Books was the site of children’s story sessions, among other literary-themed activities

It was exactly that type of family-friendly atmosphere that had Goshen residents Janet and Jeff Remus excited about making the trip downtown Friday night with their 6-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, in tow.

“It’s such a good atmosphere for kids,” Janet said as she and her family made their way to Better World Books for the 6:30 p.m. children’s reading. “We just saw some interpretive modern dance that was really interesting, though a little over a 6-year-old’s head. But we’re heading for hot cocoa and a book reading at the book store, and we’re looking forward to a good time.”

First Fridays is sponsored by Downtown Goshen Inc. and runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month.

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Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

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