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03-20-13-explore-history.gifDowntown Fayetteville is the heart of the city, and 4th Friday is when it truly comes alive with all the culture the area has to offer. This month, 4th Friday falls on March 22. The streets will be full to the brim with food, music and culture for everyone in the area to enjoy. Nearly everything will be open late for anyone to explore.

The art scene is one of the most prominent features of downtown, and this is the perfect time to explore it because everything will be open later than normal. Don’t miss Anne Frank: A History for Today and Propaganda in Nazi-occupied Holland. Both exhibits are featured this month at the Arts Council Fayetteville/Cumberland County. The exhibits are free and open to the public and not only provide historical insight to the World War II era, but take a hard look at intolerance and how the issue is still relevant today.

The Fayetteville Transportation and Local History Museum offers a companion exhibit that showcases the history of Fayetteville’s Jewish community. Learn of the many personal stories of sacrifi ce and challenge that Jewish immigrants face as they moved to the South. Explore the struggles they faced as they assimilated to a new land while keeping their cultural and religious identities. In addition, the Transportation and Local History Museum is open from 6 to 10 p.m. and will have its normal exhibits open, too.

Cape Fear Studios will also be open late for 4th Friday festivities. The studios are located at 148 Maxwell St. and the artists who work there are passionate about providing the public a free way to view and experience art. The gallery of various mediums of art such as, paintings, photographs, sculptures, wood working and glass art will be open for the public to explore. There will also be pieces for sale.

4th Friday is also a child-friendly experience. Fascinate-U is designed to interest and teach young children, and on 4th Friday admission is free and the hours are longer. This month, the museum celebrates the coming of Easter with an egg-decorating craft for kids. Families can make unique and beautiful foam Easter eggs using buttons, sequins and any other materials they would like. The craft and admission are free from 7 to 9 p.m.

Art is not the only thing going on in downtown Fayetteville. The area is brimming with historical importance. The Market House will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. with a special exhibit just for March. The March exhibit is Cumberland County in the War Between the States. The Market House is located at 108 Person St. All the shops and restaurants along Hay Street will also be open late for festivities. Many of them will have free drinks and snacks; some will even have live music for patrons to enjoy. There is no time quite like 4th Friday to come to the center of the town and see all that it has to offer. From the shops, to the history and art there will be something for everyone to enjoy on March 22.

In partnership with the Downtown Alliance, several shops offer special deals and discounts for the monthly event. Find out more about 4th Friday at www.theartscouncil.com or www.faydta.org.

Photo: Anne Frank. Photo credit: ©AFS/AFF Amsterdam/Basel

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