COLUMBIANA - The city will be a bustle of activity this summer, and a new event has been added to the mix. The chamber of commerce's business development committee is introducing First Fridays, which will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. June 6, July 4 and Aug. 1.
April Brinker, chamber executive director, said the goal is to help stimulate business for the merchants on Main Street.
"A lot of times the chamber is able to service our bigger businesses easily and we have a more difficult time servicing our smaller merchants so we are hoping that this will help do that," she said.
The First Friday event theme is "Be a tourist in your own town!" and visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, such as sidewalk sales, a farmer's market, book sale, and free movies and bingo at the theater on Main Street. Other things scheduled include a martial arts demonstration and a tour of historical downtown buildings, conducted by a member of the Historical Society.
Visitors can also enjoy popsicles and popcorn to be sold from carts around town and a clown will be on hand for kids, who will also have the opportunity to have their faces painted.
Live musical entertainment will be provided at the Columbiana Diner and Generations Coffee Shop.
"We are trying to get more people in the downtown area," event co-chair Ginny Perkins said.
Brinker said the July 4 First Friday event will take place in the park, to coincide with the annual Fourth of July celebration.
"Our hope is that it goes well and that we will kick if off again next year with Springtime in Columbiana," she said.
Springtime in Columbiana is an annual event held the first weekend of May and Brinker said the two will run together. The chamber did not implement First Fridays in May of this year due to weather.
"Here in Columbiana we have a pretty good business climate. Please come and support our businesses on Main Street and Columbiana as well," Leah Wilson, chamber board of directors president, said.
Other events scheduled for this summer include the annual Harvey S. Firestone Park Festival of the Arts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 2, free to the public, and Columbiana Wine Festival from noon to 8 p.m. June 28 at the American Legion Post 290. Pre-sale admission is $20, and $25 at the gate and includes 10 tasting tickets and a souvenir wine glass. Only those aged 21 and older are allowed to participate.