BUCKHANNON – Festival Fridays will make its return this June after cutting its season short last year.
CJ Rylands, the president of Create Buckhannon, said the weekly gatherings will help usher in the summer starting June 3 and continue through August 6. Each event will run from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Jawbone Park.
“The original intention was to create an opportunity for folks in the community to come out and spend time together in public spaces, at no cost,” Rylands said. “There’s free entertainment, vendors and the Farmers Market is there — they occupy several spaces.”
Create Buckhannon is still accepting applications for vendors, which can include artists, food purveyors and others.
“It’s $25 for the whole season, so it’s less than $3 per event to be a vendor,” Rylands said. “We used to restrict vendors, but we don’t do that anymore — nonprofits can even come down if they want to get any information out to the public.”
Each date will feature a different band, but the schedule has not been finalized yet. When available, the list of bands will be posted on Festival Friday’s Facebook page.
“We just want to get back to doing it really,” Rylands said. “We started last year and then we were interrupted, so we want to get back to doing what we have done in the past.”
Create Buckhannon is hoping to offer their chicken dinners, as long as there aren’t any shortages of ingredients.
“Chicken is still somewhat stable, but it all just depends on market conditions,” Rylands said. “We plan on doing it, but it will be week-to-week with pricing. A good example is lettuce. Last week it was $24 a case — that’s just iceberg — and this week it’s $70, so it really just depends.”
Rylands said he is glad to see a community event coming back and giving people a chance to interact again.
“The strength of any community is directly proportional to the strength of the connection between the citizens,” Rylands said. “Our overreaching goal is to strengthen the community by strengthening the connection between its citizens and just talking to each other.”