02-19-14-fourth-friday.gifThough February is the shortest month of the year, it is packed full of exciting events. Besides Valentines Day, this February will also have a 4th Friday celebration on the 28th. Downtown Fayetteville is a lively destination every day of the week, but on 4th Fridays the activities extend into the night.

4th Friday fun will start a little early this month with the 7th Annual Bread and Bowl’s event. In support of Operation Inasmuch, the Hay Street United Methodist Church offers an opportunity to support the community and enjoy a hearty meal of chicken Brunswick stew. Operation Inasmuch helps the church reach beyond its walls to help those in need. There are two options for meals. A $20 meal is served in a handmade pottery bowl created by local artist Greg Hathaway and other talented local potters. The Inasmuch volunteers also serve a $10 meal in a freshly baked bread bowl. Each meal includes chicken Brunswick stew, a brownie and tea or coffee. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. The dinner hours, which are 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., allow patrons to go directly from dinner to the fun of 4th Friday, which begins at 6 p.m. The Hay Street United Methodist Church is located at 320 Hay St. Tickets and more information are available at www.FAOIAM.org or by calling 433-2161.

Fascinate-U is a gem in downtown Fayetteville, and a must-see for any 4th Friday participants with kids. This museum is focused specifically on children and provides a fun and educational experience. Every 4th Friday, Fascinate-U also offers a free event for families to enjoy. Beginning at 7 p.m., Fascinate-U will host Family Fun Maracas. Children are invited to create their own maracas with the provided supplies and can bring them into the museum for some musical fun. Fascinate-U is located at 116 Green St. For more information visit www.fascinate-u.com or call 829-9171.

The artistic culture in downtown Fayetteville is also on display during 4th Fridays. There are multiple galleries downtown, and they are all open late.This month, the exhibit at the Arts Council, a staple in Fayetteville visual art, celebrates African American culture and artists. The exhibit is entitled The Pilgrim-age: A Lifetime of Collection by Dr. James and Juanita Pilgrim. The exhibit is generously on loan from Dr. James and Juanita Pilgrim. All of the art work was created by African-American artists, and pays homage to their great skills and passionate representations. Some of the featured artists are William Tolliver, Jonathan Green and Paul Goodnight.

“The Army Ground Forces Band’s Freedom’s Groove will play at the Arts Council during 4th Friday this month from 7 to 9 p.m. We’re calling our program a A Celebration of Dance,” said Mary Kinney, marketing director of the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. “We are excited to have members from two dance groups, Cape Fear Ballroom Dancers and Swing Dance Heritage Club, who will help get the crowd going during 4th Friday. They will mingle on the dance floor to keep everyone swinging and moving to the music.” Admission to the Arts Council is free. The museum is located at 301 Hay St. For more information, visit www.theartscouncil.com.

For those interested in history, stop by the Market House, which is in the center of downtown. This beautiful building also acts as a museum. It has a rotating exhibit for each month that focuses on an aspect of the area’s history that includes a permanent exhibit called View from the Square, which explains the history of Downtown Fayetteville. The Market House is located at the convergence of Hay, Gillespie, Person and Green Streets.

Each 4th Friday the Downtown Alliance, in conjunction with downtown businesses, offers a Fanatics Card that offers discounts, prizes and more. Stop by the Downtown Alliance and pick one up. They are free.

Photo: Stop by Hay Street United Methodist Church for a warm bowl of soup in a custom painted bowl before heading to 4th Friday.

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