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Street market to become part of ‘Finally Friday’

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City council backs revamping of downtown event with $5,000

By Jesef Williams

The concept sounds grand. 

Vendors from both Carolinas convene in downtown on Saturday on select months for the Lancaster Street Market. 

Each merchant sets up his or her own booth, where they sell an array of items such as hand-crafted jewelry, woodwork, purses and clothing. 

There’s plenty to buy, with food vendors also on hand – creating an experience that will draw a slew of patrons. 

But that’s where concern lies. 

Teresa Meeks, support services director for the city of Lancaster, addressed City Council on Tuesday night about the street market and other events run by See Lancaster SC, the city’s marketing and promotions arm.

Meeks said the street market, which has run for three years, has not yielded the type of participation that organizers have anticipated. And because of the low turnout, See Lancaster now plans to include it in an event to be known as “Finally Friday.”

Christmas events such as the Santa Train, the Community Yard Sale and the Red Rose Festival have all been successful, but the street market continues to 

struggle, Meeks said. 

“Although we have advertised in numerous venues, brought in children’s activities, music, line dancing, etc, we continue to have low attendance,” she said about the street market. 

Finally Friday will be similar to “Friday at Last,” a past event held on the final Friday of each month that included live entertainment and other activities. 

This series will combine musical performances, children’s activities, street market merchants and vendors. 

See Lancaster plans for it to run on the last Friday of each month from June through October. 

“We hope that having an evening setting would provide a more comfortable atmosphere in the hot summer months,” Meeks said. “We are hopeful that folks will come out and enjoy our downtown.” 

‘Movies in the City’

See Lancaster is also planning a “Movies in the City” series that will be held on the second Saturday of each month from June through September.

The city will rent a big movie screen to show family-friendly films at night in the City Hall parking lot. Locals can bring lawn chairs to the event, which will also feature food vendors, Meeks said. 

‘A good idea’ 

City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved Meeks’ request for $5,000 to fund the first running of each of the two activities. 

Councilwoman Linda Blackmon-Brace said she likes the idea of combining the street market with the other events. 

“I think that’s a good idea,” she said. “When you can tie things together, that’s less cost and less headache.”