From May to October, local businesses of Atchison come together to put on First Friday Downtown Atchison; a monthly event with games, food, and local vendors.
Because Atchison is a small town, First Friday events give store owners an opportunity to reach more people and attract business.
Angela Harris-Spurlock, co-owner of antique store Backroad Atlas shared how First Friday helps her business.
“We get people downtown; it’s not something we usually get. The community knows that there’s open businesses downtown and they see not only the antique part, but also the snow cone part, so that’s how it helps—it gets people down here,” Harris-Spurlock said.
First Friday also attracts small businesses. Vendors are allowed to set up tents and display their products, fundraising materials, and food.
Small business owner Kristy Sumpter discussed what she loves most about the monthly event.
“It’s just a really nice event to be in town. I’m from Atchison, and it’s just nice to see everybody from town and people that I know. It’s a nice little event for just a couple of hours,” Sumpter said.
Sumpter runs an earring and t-shirt business called Joyful Rose Designs. She elaborated on how vendors benefit from participating in First Fridays.
“The girl that runs it makes sure that it’s free for everyone to come out and do, so it’s really great to not have to pay a vendor fee. It makes a huge difference when you’re a small business.” Sumpter said.
However, the event is not just for vendors and shop-owners. People like to bring their old-fashioned cars to First Friday’s as well. Crowds admire the cars as they eat food and socialize with townsfolk.
Art Brant likes to bring his 1941 Willys car to First Fridays. He most enjoys socializing with others.
“A lot of people are interested in cars, and we meet new people who are interested that you haven’t seen before. I’ve had this car that’s two years old, I’ve got another one that’s 17 years old, and I’ve brought it for years,” Brant said.
There will be one more First Friday this year held on the first Friday of October from 6-8 p.m.