Milledgeville celebrated local businesses on Friday when the city put on their First Friday of the Month event with the theme of “Love Local.” Students and locals came out, packing places like Blackbird Coffee and Gringo’s to show their Milledgeville pride.
“You can get a pizza anywhere, but not The Brick’s atmosphere,” said sophomore David Williams, an economics major. “A burger isn’t hard to find, but a better crowd than Buffington’s just can’t be found. The local shops, restaurants and bars aren’t just in Milledgeville: they are Milledgeville.”
Milledgeville’s First Friday program aims to encourage the people who live here to celebrate and explore all that Milledgeville has to offer and to create a family-friendly and communal atmosphere downtown.
Local businesses, cultural sites and nightlife venues stay open later to present special events and give exclusive discounts to those who come.
“I think it’s important to eat locally because it supports the local neighborhood over corporate businesses,” said sophomore Sierra Kirsche, a studio arts major and employee at Amici. “By giving business to small shops or family-owned restaurants, your money goes a lot farther by helping promote a sense of community and helping small business owners keep their doors open.”
Not only does this program encourage people to come out and support downtown, but it also offers them the chance to win $50 in Milly Money. For this recent First Friday, local businesses from Amici to Jack and Milly offered local patrons the opportunity to enter this drawing if they snapped a photo of themselves in front of a #LoveLocalMilly sign downtown and posted it to social media with the hashtag #LoveLocalMilly.
“I think it’s a great idea to have this drawing because in a way it is an opportunity for these businesses to thank the people who support them and give them the chance to pay it forward,” said junior Breezy Barr, a biology major.
The next opportunity to come downtown and celebrate Milledgeville is March 2. This next First Friday theme will be “Celebrate Our Roots,” offering free trolley rides to Milledgeville’s museums to help patrons learn about the history of the city between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m..