City officials and residents’ ambitions to make downtown Portales “alive after five” begins Friday night with the MainStreet Program’s first Fifth Fridays event.
The MainStreet Program Manager Sandy Van Der Veen and local business owners involve all said they anticipate a good turnout for the first event, but they believe the number of people attending will increase with each Fifth Fridays.
Van Der Veen said the event has something for everyone with several Portales businesses in and around the town square staying open until 9 p.m. Friday, each one offering a different venue of interest or entertainment, including a quilt show, wine tasting, a mime, live music and more.
“It’s always the same old thing, there’s nothing going on in Portales,” Van Der Veen said. “But after this first one, people can say, ‘Hey, this was something going on and it was enjoyable.’”
Some of the business owners involved are excited to participate because they enjoy bringing more activity to Portales residents.
“Anything that we can do to highlight the area’s cultural venues and opportunities, we should do,” said Scott Davis, owner of Valley Furniture. “There’s enough things available that we need to create a venue where those things can be showcased. I’m anxious to see the activity this brings to downtown and even Portales as a whole.”
Danny Woodward, owner of Woody’s Jewelry, said although business owners are tired at the end of their work day, Fifth Fridays is well worth it because it gives people a chance to mingle and make more connections with the community.
“I don’t know what to expect with this first one but I think there are some neat venues that will draw people in,” Woodward said. “Once people get used to it, it will be a mindset and more people will come each time.”
Mark Vigil, owner of Vines Italian Restaurant, said his establishment will be offering a free wine and appetizer tasting at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday as part of the event.
“We’re just very excited to participate in events in town,” Vigil said. “We anticipate the house to be packed with people and excitement.”