By KEVIN LYON
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – The First Friday Art Walk is set for May 3 with 11 participating businesses showcasing art along with three additional events.
Friday’s Art Walk begins with the grand opening of the Achauer House at the corner of Holden and South streets from 3-7 p.m. and ends with the City Hall open house dedication at 102 S. Holden St. from 4-7 p.m.
The theme is art and architecture, and the event is free and open to the public.
“We do this every month now,” said Jo Henning, owner the Old Drum Gallery & Trading Co. at 128 N. Holden St.
Local businesses started the First Friday Art Walk as a monthly event last fall, both to promote themselves and to revitalize downtown.
“People see shops they didn’t know existed,” Henning said.
Henning works with Julie Kendall, the owner of Cafe Blackadder at 121 N. Holden St., who also takes part in the Art Walk.
“It’s definitely getting bigger,” Kendall said. “We easily get 30 to 40 people coming in every time.”
Café Blackadder and other participating businesses have hosted everything from spoken word to painters and photographers. The art on display is available for purchase, and artists are also often available to talk with visitors.
“We would really just say support your local downtown business,” Kendall said.
Three additional events are scheduled for Friday. UCM alumni and events staff are moving into the Achauer House, which was donated to the UCM Foundation last summer after the death of Maureen Achauer, the former owner.
“Lots of major decisions were made around her kitchen table,” said Jenne Vanderbout, assistant vice president for alumni and development. “We want to offer a sneak peek of the building on First Friday.”
Refreshments and tours will be offered in the Achauer House from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday. Vanderbout will be there to answer questions.
A front porch tour of historic Victorian homes on Grover Street is scheduled from 4-6 p.m. Warrensburg Mayor Charlie Rutt plans to speak at 4:30 p.m. at 209 Grover St. The Historic Preservation Commission is hosting the tour of Grover Street front porches, and refreshments will be available.
After speaking on Grover Street, Rutt will take part in the City Hall open house dedication at 5:30 p.m. The public can view the remodeled City Hall. An announcement will be made regarding a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation for the next phase of the downtown streetscape project for East Pine Street.