10 sled graEditor's note:  Due to inclement weather, Sled-gra has been moved to Saturday, Jan. 25 from 3-9 p.m. The Arts Council exhibit will be opening tonight. 

If you are looking for something fun to do on a Friday night at the end of the month, look no further than the Fourth Friday celebration that takes place right here in Fayetteville.

Every fourth Friday of the month, downtown Fayetteville puts on a variety of events and forms of entertainment available to everyone. And it’s free to attend. Many of these events are sponsored by the Cool Spring Downtown District. The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and local businesses and galleries participate go all-out for Fourth Friday festivities as well.

This event is filled with music, the arts and so much more. It is essentially a celebration of downtown Fayetteville and the arts. People of all ages and all walks of life are able to enjoy the local talents of Fayetteville through the display of their exhibits and often performances throughout the downtown area. Small businesses are spread all throughout the four-and-a-half-block radius of downtown Fayetteville.

Bianca Shoneman is the president of the Cool Spring Downtown District. Since its inception, the Cool Spring Downtown District participated in Fourth Friday.

When asked about what goes into the behind the scenes of the events, Shoneman said, “It depends month to month on what the activity level is. Each month is unique and varies. Sometimes it involves street programming like bussers and vendors and artist performance, and other times it requires more of a large-scale event. It takes months of planning and collaboration in communication across various channels, including the media, the arts community, municipal services, et cetera.”

The Cool Spring Downtown District is always looking for ways to improve upon participance in Fourth Friday. Shoneman said, “We are looking to do some larger events in Fourth Friday in the coming year. In February, we have something really special to celebrate black history month.”

Metoya Scott is the public relations manager for the Arts Council of Fayetteville. Regarding the Arts Council’s role in Fourth Friday, Scott said, “Recently we have been doing a parking lot party. We are not doing it outside because of the weather, but we have exhibits that open on Fourth Friday. So, it just kind of varies.”

Scott added that she hopes to engage even more people than the Arts Council already reaches with its many programs and educational initiatives. “Letting people know that we are open to new people moving here that we are an open gallery that is open seven days a week (is important),” said Scott. “(As is) increasing the amount of people who know what the Arts Council is, and of course, the amount of people attending our events.”

This Fourth Friday, don’t miss sledding at Segra Stadium, complete with four snow hills. Search Sled-Gra on Eventbrite for tickets and information.

To learn more about Fourth Friday, visit theartscouncil.com or visitdowntownfayettevile.com.

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