Every First Friday in downtown Marietta, Marietta Main Street hosts themed shopping nights and fun activities for families to enjoy in the heart of the city. October’s First Friday theme is Rockin’ through the Decades, sponsored by WVU Parkersburg, and over a dozen special events can be enjoyed by downtown visitors. 

“First Friday events are perfect opportunities for locals to enjoy life in Marietta by supporting local – shopping, dining, drinking, and enjoying all our downtown has to offer,” said Cristie Thomas, Executive Director of Marietta Main Street.

Debbie Cline, area resident and Main Street board member, sees the community coming together to celebrate and enrich their lives with culture and activities with First Friday events.

“We are grateful for our First Friday sponsors as they have a direct association with the First Friday community events as well as being associated with the pulse of the downtown revitalization happening right here in Marietta,” said Cline.

For October’s First Friday, downtown visitors can enjoy special shopping events like an Autumn Daze art show at Riverside Artists Gallery, a pop-up shop of women’s apparel from EmLeigh’s & Mama B’s at Jeremiah’s Coffee House, Teri Ann’s 59th Anniversary Sale, local photographer Bruce Wunderlich selling Marietta prints and calendars in front of Threadz Boutique, a sidewalk sale at American Flags & Poles, and a new line of kid’s t-shirts at Just A Jar Design Press. Shoppers can also enjoy discounts at A Unique Flower & Gift Shop, Sugar Maple Boutique, and Andy’s Toy Chest.

Along with late-night shopping thanks to small businesses open until 9 p.m., downtown guests can enjoy live music from local musicians at a variety of locations. Hannah Miller, a local musician, values being a part of such a supportive community when it comes to the arts and music.

“We love the opportunities that we have to perform at First Friday events and to build our musical following and network with such like-minded people in town, as well as share our passions with the community!” said Miller, who is performing alongside Levi Westfall at the Armory starting at 5:30 p.m.

Other live music events include karaoke starting at 6:30 p.m. at Gator’s, John A. Walsh at 7 p.m. on the patio of Over the Moon Pub & Pizza, live music at 5 p.m. at The Gun Room Restaurant, and local band Aftershock performing unplugged at The Adelphia Music Hall at 7 p.m..

At the Armory, in addition to live music, families can enjoy Kid Central sponsored monthly by the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. For October’s First Friday, the United Way is “chuting through the decades” and inviting kids to decorate their own treat bags and then receive treats through large cardboard chutes, one for each decade, to receive special items like peace sign necklaces, mini disco balls, sunglasses, candy, and more.

Event sponsor WVU Parkersburg will have decade-themed photo booths staged at the Armory and invites guests to take the memories home with them. Everyone who stops by the Armory for pictures will leave with souvenir polaroid photos.

Guest sponsor Washington County Relay for Life will be honoring those who have battled breast cancer with a luminaria display and a Men in Pink fundraiser. One Men in Pink participant is Main Street Board President Tim Glover, who is participating in the event because he believes cancer research is the only way to defeat the disease and he has lost family and friends to battles with cancer.

“I had the honor of being asked to raise funds for the Relay For Life Men in Pink promotion. Cancer has affected all of us in some way personally and it is important to support these type of efforts. The Men in Pink will be raising money on the Armory lawn from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and I appreciate the support from everyone that can make it Friday,” said Glover.

Other special events happening during First Friday include antique boat show viewings at the Marietta Harbor courtesy of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, a Tap-N-Burn class demo in front of Rockstar Wellness at 6 p.m. featuring music from the 1950s to today as well as  Worthington Produce selling pumpkins and gourds, and a new fall lineup of pumpkin spice-infused honey and pumpkin spice creamed honey from Hive Alive.

To learn more about Marietta Main Street, upcoming events, and programs, visit the Marietta Main Street website at: www.mariettamainstreet.org.