EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – This Fourth of July weekend there will be a lot of outdoor get-togethers, fairs and festivals.
One thing that’s happening on the first weekend of each month this summer is “First Friday on Fifth.”
It’s a new event for East Liverpool and is creating quite the buzz when it comes to businesses.
Fifth Street is sometimes a quiet downtown street, but it was anything but on Friday.
“We want feet on the street, we want people to see that this little small town that was once thriving can do so again,” said ELCPR director Kathy Hyde Smith.
This Friday was the city’s second “First Friday” event, an open-air market with live music, food, beer, wine and local artisans selling anything from woodworks to sweet treats to kitschy homemade crafts.
“We are trying to bring people into the downtown, not only to show them what’s here but what opportunities are here, if you wanted to come to downtown East Liverpool and open a business,” Hyde Smith said.
The idea can work — a market just like the city’s is how the brick-and-mortar store Fresh on Fifth came to be.
“We booked into the festival, then it happened that the spot was open… one of our friends wanted to rent it, so it was just kind of like fate that we’d give it a try… and we’ve been here three years,” said Fresh on Fifth co-owners Kylie May and Amanda O’Brien.
Those selling on Friday want people to know downtown East Liverpool is making a comeback.
Mother-daughter artisan duo and co-owners of Knotty Hookers have invested in the community. They use the money made at their stand to buy and donate things like flowers and trash bags for city cleanups.
“We try to buy hot dogs and buns and donate for the community cleanup,” said Knotty Hookers co-owner Denise Reynolds.
“We really just appreciate the opportunity to be a part of a community event like this,” said Knotty Hookers co-owner Lindsey Smoot.
June’s event drew in around 2,000 people, many of whom weren’t from the city.
Organizers and vendors hope that number will go up for July.
“In order for these events to continue to be successful, we need people. It’s free, so come on down, spend some time,” Smoot said.
“We’re hoping to do this through the month of October and then, you know, we’ll evaluate and see how we can grow the festival for next year,” Hyde Smith said.
The market runs until 10:30 p.m. Friday and is free. They run the first Friday of the month from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and they’re hoping to add new vendors.