By Haley Dick
Once a month West Main Street in Downtown Salisbury transforms into a place where local artists, crafters and other businesses can connect with the Salisbury community in an informal and family-friendly setting.
3rd Friday is a downtown development project sponsored by the Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District and the City of Salisbury, according to the organization’s website.
Members of the Salisbury community were looking for a time and place to come together and connect with each other in the place that they love, thus beginning 3rd Fridays.
At the public’s request, a group of people came together and decided to start getting the community interacting in a creative way. What originally started as a volunteer based activity soon turned into a city sponsored event. Each third Friday of the month, vendors and non-profits set up stands of all homemade merchandise and informational pamphlets to share with the people in their community.
Every month embodies a different theme. Some past themes include Planet Earth, Urban Artscapes, Paw Prints, Mad Science and more. The most recent 3rd Friday, which was held on Oct. 21, was Comic-Con themed. Children walked around wearing their Halloween costumes, pumpkin smashing was featured as a free activity and even the vendors were dressed to the theme.
The only requirement to set up and sell merchandise or food is that it all must be homemade and original. One local artist arrived at the beginning of set-up time, which was 3 p.m., and got comfortable next to the fountain on the main drag to sell his artwork for the first time at 3rd Friday.
Various different reasons bring people to the 3rd Friday event, all unique and compelling. The man was a local, and was just looking for an outlet to sell and receive feedback on this work.
“A lady told me about it and said that it was a great fund,” Larry Conway, a local artist, said. “She said that her daughter did a great job selling her artwork downtown, and I love the social setting.”
Conway said that his goal was to sell enough of his artwork to be able to pay for the materials to continue creating because art was something of enjoyment and personal satisfaction to him. It was obvious that he was excited and eager to be participating in such an engaging event with his unique and sentimental artwork.
SU students are always encouraged to get involved with the surrounding community, and this is one outlet that appeals to most.
“Personally, I thought that the event was really well organized and fun, has a great atmosphere due to the time of day it was held along with the live music and everyone seemed to be having a really good time,” Kate Gauntt said, class of 2020.
“Being able to talk to all the vendors and find out the motivation behind their art and how they came to participate in 3rd Friday made me feel much more connected to the Salisbury community.”
Whether it is volunteering, setting up a table or going to enjoy yourself with a group of friends, there are plenty of reasons for students to go to 3rd Friday and engage with others outside of the university.
3rd Fridays are free and open to the public, and occur every third Friday of the month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Downtown Salisbury. For more information visit http://www.3rdfridaysby.com/Home.aspx.