The downtown business organization proposed hosting the event starting May 16 and on third Fridays through the end of October, according to its application to the city.
The cost for six "Third Friday" events was $11,580, accounting for electricity and public works and police involvement.
It was not the money involved that deterred the council members, however, according to The Aegis, which reported Councilman Joseph Smith was the lone proponent of the proposal on the dais.
Smith is also the only council member who owns a business in the Main Street district, as co-owner of Glyph Art and Design Studio on North Washington Street.
The following council members and business owners opposed Third Fridays for the following reasons, according to The Aegis:
- Councilman Fred Cullum: concerned about diluting First Friday
- Councilman David Glenn: didn't think all business owners supported it
- Councilman Bill Martin: dividing an event leads to its failure
- Washington Street Books and Music: traffic deters customers
- Java by the Bay: vendors compete with businesses
On Tuesday, another business owner shared her thoughts on Facebook.
"I was taken back by by the outcome of last night's vote," Victoria Thanner, owner of Pizzazz, posted. "It is a proven fact that First Fridays attracts visitors to Hdg...As a business owner, holding events is a WIN WIN FOR THE ENTIRE town." Thanner, who is the promotions and events chair for Main Street, said she hoped business owners and the council could come to a compromise.
On the heels of the vote, some asked whether business owners couldn't just have Third Fridays anyway.
They could without blocking off the streets (necessitating city permission and incurring public works and police costs), according to Barbara Wagner, former city councilwoman, who co-owns Bahoukas on Congress Avenue and Bahoukas GreenJoy on Franklin Street.
"I would love to see them continue to move forward with the great idea and convince retail business owners to keep their stores open 'til 9 p.m. on third Fridays," Wagner said.
In fact, Wagner helped launch a movement for stores to stay open on Thursday nights in the Franklin-Congress area so restaurant-goers would have someplace to shop, and merchants could reap the rewards.
"If the stores sign an agreement that they will stay open, Main Street could agree to market them and the event," Wagner said. "It would give visitors a reason to come downtown and shop after work. A win-win!!"
What do you think about Third Fridays? Tell us in the comments!