BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WTOC) - Downtown Beaufort was the place to be Friday night. In fact, you can find the area bustling with people almost every first Friday of the month.
At 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, most businesses are starting to close down, but in Beaufort, the party was just getting started.
On the First Friday of each month in downtown Beaufort, you can find people of all ages - and their furry friends - eating, drinking, shopping, and listening to music.
“I frequent First Fridays because they are so much fun to come down to and visit the shops, visit the ones that have opened and meet your friends, have a girl’s night out,” said Beaufort resident, Cindy Boone.
First Friday was put on by the Downtown Beaufort Merchants Association. This marks the fifth year for the event, which called for celebration.
“The community has been very supportive of what’s going on downtown and making sure they do their part to keep things vital down here.”
Businesses, shops, and restaurants all along downtown extend their hours until 8 p.m., allowing both locals and out-of-towners to explore. It helps drum up business in the process.
“Downtowns can be a challenge sometimes for cities, and so to have so many supportive and productive merchants is very important to this city, and we appreciate them,” said Rhonda Carey, Event & Tour Coordinator, City of Beaufort.
“If you can just look around and see all the life happening around here and see all the folks smiling, if people don’t come down and actually spend a little money downtown, then we wouldn’t be able to have this, and it does foster community."
The economic impact is tangible.
“I have a tiny shop - an art studio - and it’s always great for me,” said Robyn Hood-Black, Owner of Artsy Letters. “People like to come out and explore downtown, and it’s family-friendly. Just a fun night.”
Everyone in Beaufort seems to have the same opinion. They hope First Friday lasts another five years.
The First Friday of each month from 5-8 p.m., you can visit the shops in the downtown area starting on Bay Street and the surrounding blocks. The event is open to everyone.