May 1, 2009

Music, art and shopping draw First Friday crowd

Macyn Taylor's singing draws an audience at Northern Lights Gallery

First Friday drew surprisingly large crowds Downtown tonight -- as strollers navigated, without complaint, the mess on Sixth Street, filling some of our art galleries, listening to live music and generally having a good time.

Restaurants were busy, folks were buying stuff -- that is the whole point of the thing, after all -- and musicians and artists were making new friends and fans. It was a better crowd than I expected, given that the temperature barely topped 50 degrees, but even the Monument Square beer tent -- which benefits the Theatre Guild's Jean's Jazz series -- could barely keep up with demand.

There was a horse-drawn buggy -- and an extra horse to meet the kids, a variety of musicians wherever you walked -- emphasis on guitars, free admission at RAM, a new exhibit highlighting some of Racine's manufacturing innovations at the Racine Heritage Museum, the opening of a show of bright and interesting paintings by Lauretta Ludwig at the Racine Arts Council ... all-in-all, a great night to be Downtown. A wandering magician was even scheduled -- but he must've made himself invisible, because I never found him.

If you missed it all ... well, your loss. Don't despair: You'll have another chance on the first Friday of June.

Lauretta Ludwig with two of her bright canvases at the Arts Council
(note the jewel collage at the upper left -- interesting!)

Al Schoening strumming up funds for a cancer cure, at Copacetic

Ben Tompsedt, 21, said you don't have to be a kid
to get your face painted, 'as long as you are a kid at heart.'

Pavlik, Stellman & Martin kept Monument Square hopping all night

'Cadillac' Lekas and Noah Lekas played on 6th as American Restless

Macyn Taylor brought her guitar and vocals to Main Street

Stompin' Blues from Paul Kaye on Sixth

Fourcast played at Crosswalk Park on Main Street

This must be art, because there it was inside RAM

Mom shows her son the inside of Monument Square's cannon

Julie Kennedy was shopping for a new hat at Copacetic.
(For those of you old enough to remember: she said
the hanging price tag reminded her of Minnie Pearl!)

A beat they could dance to, in Monument Square

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