DENVER – On Friday, Nov. 4, First Friday LKN Denver will have its second event since the group’s inception and the first true “first Friday” event.
The group had scheduled its first event on Oct. 7, but the rain from Hurricane Matthew caused the group to reschedule the event to the following week.
First Friday is a community event held on the first Friday of each month, and it brings together community members with local small businesses and vendors.
Flo Ward, one of the group’s organizers and the owner of We Chic’d It, said the idea for the event came out of the Lake Norman Denver Business Networking Group.
She said the group liked the concept of Denver Days but wanted a way to offer something similar to that event throughout the year.
“If you look at the first Friday type of events in all the larger cities that have a main street, the community comes together on a weekly or a monthly basis to get together, say, ‘Hi’ to friends,” she said. “Our goal was it would be nice if we could find a way for our community to one, get to know about the businesses around here, especially those that work from their home, but at the same time, be able to give back here within our own community.”
The November First Friday event will focus on thanking emergency and rescue service workers. The workers just have to bring their ID, and each vendor will have a special deal to offer them.
Ward said the group was inspired to thank emergency and rescue workers after seeing the effort they put into helping victims of Hurricane Matthew.
“We know so many of them put their time and effort into helping them,” she said. “Let’s thank those who have given to others who aren’t in our immediate community.”
The last event, which was held on Oct. 14, went well even though it was rescheduled, Judith Wentzel, another member of the group and owner of EFT Coaching and Consulting, said.
She said many of the people who attended did not know the event was happening and stopped by after happening to see the setup.
“By rolling it back a week, a lot of the vendors weren’t able to come, but we still had a pretty nice turnout,” Wentzel said. “Everybody had a wonderful time, and the people that visited the event gained a lot of knowledge about the different products and services in their own backyard.”
She said it is this awareness of local opportunities that the group hopes to encourage, and hopefully, the event will help “put the tax dollars to work here, not across the pond.”
“I think that by making the community aware of what is available to them right here, it’s going to help the community that much more connected as well as prosperous,” Wentzel said. “... There’s a lot of things here that people aren’t aware of. They don’t have to drive to Huntersville to fund businesses, but they don’t know about it.”
The last event had eight vendors, and Ward said there were six vendors so far signed up for the Nov. 4 event. Some of the vendors community members will get to interact with include Sweet Momma’s, We Chic’d It, EFT Coaching and Consulting, WildTree and the US Health Group.
Ward’s booth will also include a craft table where participants can participate in a do-it-yourself craft.
Wentzel and Ward are both excited to see the event grow and hope it will be an event that can bring the entire community together.
Wentzel said they even hope to turn the event into more of a lively street-type festival in the summer months where participants can visit different storefronts.
“It’s growing,” she said. “It’s in the beginning stages, but it’s something we want to do every month to not just generate interest for the business owner in the community but to have something to give back to the community though the profits generated.”
Ward said they enjoy offering a fun, lively opportunity for the community.
“Our goal is basically to have something everybody can look forward to every month,” she said. “That’s our biggest goal, that we are able to be here for our community.”
The event will run from 6-9 p.m. in Westport Plaza, 1873 N.C. 16 N. For more information about First Friday, visit the group’s Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/firstfridayLKNdenver.