City officials have spent years trying to build downtown Albany into a place where the community wants to spend both their time, and money. However that process has been slow, causing local merchants to try new ideas to attract more customers.
"They want to create certain events that allow them to stay open for extended shopping hours, and I think it's important for them to do that. So we've been looking at "first Friday's" events, and a lot of the merchants have been staying open on the first Friday just to get additional shopping," said Downtown City Manager, Aaron Blair.
"First Friday's" is a new idea that will keep downtown businesses open later on the first Friday of every month. Hoping to encourage the community to enjoy their ever-improving downtown district. However with the 4th of July firework fights Wednesday, the community is concerned that future events in Albany will turn into a brawl as well.
"For our downtown events, we never have any issues either so it really doesn't affect us at all, except, what we do whenever there's something like that, well of course we'll step back and look, and make sure our plans we have in place are taken care of. We've never had an issue, we don't plan on ever having an issue, so it really doesn't affect us," said Blair.
Downtown event planners are also toying with the idea of adding the first Friday event to the last Friday of each month in an effort to raise community interest in the downtown district.