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First Fridays in Fort Valley return bigger than before after pandemic cancellations

First Friday is set to return on May 7th on East Church Street in Fort Valley. Attendees can expect food trucks, live entertainment and children activities.

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Fort Valley’s First Friday is back and bigger than before. Some people see it as an opportunity to help Fort Valley grow.

Kelvin Blalock, the owner of Eighteen 36 in downtown Fort Valley, started them in 2019.

“We started with live entertainment under the gazebo, get that street party feel,” said Blalock.

Like so many other events, it was cancelled once the pandemic hit.

Now that restrictions have eased, First Friday is coming back.

“It’s been hard on a lot of us, “said Blalock. “But just getting people out I think would be awesome.”

The Peach Activity Committee, a non-profit organization, teamed up with Blalock.

“We want to see things happening in Fort Valley,” said President of the PAC committee, LaTonia Ages. “There’s nothing happening here, and we wanted it to be family-oriented so it’s inclusive of the whole city.”

Ages said attendees can expect food trucks, live music and dancers, rock-climbing and a bounce house to line up along East Church street.

“From kids all the way up to the elderly we’re offering something for the whole community.”

Ages said they’re expecting a large turnout.

“Anywhere from a 1,000 to 1,500, if not more, because people have been shut in so much.”

Blalock thinks a turnout like that will be great for local businesses like his, “And you know, we’re just trying to get back from COVID and get everyone back out of the house.”

He said First Fridays could also help with new growth.

“I think First Friday provides that opportunity for others to come and see what we got here in Fort Valley.”

First Friday is free for anyone who would like to attend. It begins at 6 p.m.

It is set to happen every month except for June because of the Peach Festival.