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Volunteers gather to discuss ‘First Weekend’

The next event in the series is scheduled for Aug. 2-3

Volunteers Colin Read, Carrie Ann Rollier, Leigh Simonette and Shawna Armstrong enjoy a laugh during a “First Weekend” planning meeting in Plattsburgh.

Volunteers Colin Read, Carrie Ann Rollier, Leigh Simonette and Shawna Armstrong enjoy a laugh during a “First Weekend” planning meeting in Plattsburgh.

— The Plattsburgh First Weekend Committee met July 24 to discuss upcoming “First Weekend” activities, as well as to go over survey results from their two previous events.

With a growing slate of performers and attractions hoping to either return, or participate for the first time in August and September’s “First Weekends,” the group is hoping to convince City of Plattsburgh officials to agree to close more roads, in order to open more space for performers and vendors. The event’s art walk has grown from 15 artists at locations around downtown to 20, and a similar increase in the number of musicians, vendors and displays is expected for the upcoming events.

“The city has been very accommodating to us,” said First Weekend Committee volunteer Tim McCormick.

The next “First Weekend” in the series will be held this weekend, Aug. 2-3. The event will begin with music in the streets Friday night and a family fun day on Saturday with a “block party” at City Hall Place. The street will be closed from 2 to 5 p.m. The event kicks off with an art walk along with musical performers in front of local businesses downtown. McCormick said the majority of the downtown entertainment will take place on Margaret Street.

This is the third First Weekend arranged by members of the Vision 2 Action Group, the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts, ROTA Gallery, the Adirondack Young Professionals, The Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, the Imaginarium Children’s Museum and area businesses.

The group, consisting totally of volunteers, has no budget or financial backing to get “First Weekends” up and running.

“But,” said volunteer Colin Read, “If you added up the amount of donations in kind we’ve gotten of people’s time, it’s probably been worth $5,000.”

Committee volunteer Shawna Armstrong discussed results of a survey on First Friday’s Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/PlattsburghFFandSS) asking people about their impressions of the previous events. Support for the first two “First Weekends” has been overwhelmingly positive, with respondants saying that among other things, they felt safe at the events, and would recommend “First Weekends” to their friends.

A predominant sentiment in the surveys was also that people would not be as likely to attend if the streets were not closed to traffic.

The next “First Weekend” in the series is slated for Sept. 6-7, the week prior to the Battle of Plattsburgh celebration.

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