October First Fridays is all about the pumpkin

by Staff
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little punkins orangeFLORENCE-The October First Fridays event, which will take place from 5-8 p.m. in downtown Florence on Oct. 4, is a celebration of all things pumpkin.


“What better way to celebrate the season that with pumpkin,” said First FridaysGIRL AND PUMPKINS Committee Chairwoman Lexi Sandlin. “We’re right at the beginning of the season, and this month’s event features some of our favorites as well as some new and exciting ways for individuals to participate.”


DROPAmong the events that have drawn the largest crowds at an October First Fridays is the pumpkin drop, which had its inaugural splat in the intersections of Court Street and Mobile Plaza in 2012. Steve Carpenter, of Jack O’Lantern Farms, has grown the 300-pound pumpkin that will be dropped this year at 7 p.m.


A pumpkin cooking contest is set for the evening as well. Entries should be delivered to the designated area next to the First Fridays  tent on Court Street outside Unraveled by 5 p.m. Participants must fill out a registration form that includes name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Participants must also provide a copy of the recipe. Judging will begin at 5:30 p.m. by City Hardware Executive Chef Jeff Eubanks.


A pumpkin carving/decorating contest will also take place by the First Fridays tent. Entries should be dropped off painted facesbetween 4:30-6:30 p.m. There are two age group categories: 12 and older and 12 and younger.


Winners for both contests will be announced before the pumpkin drop at 7 p.m. Prizes will be awarded.


BOONon-profit organizations are always represented at First Fridays. This month, United Way’s Success by 6 program will have a table on Mobile Plaza. Children birth to age six who are dressed in costume will receive a free book. A costume parade is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Guest readers will be Fletch Brown at 6:30 p.m.; Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock at 7:15 p.m.; and Florence-Lauderdale Public Library Children’s Librarian Jessica Hill at 8:15 p.m.


The Zeta Tau Alpha sorority from the University of North Alabama will have its annual PINKPink Party in honor of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event will feature face painting, a yogurt eating contest using the Yoplait brand yogurt cups with pink lids, and, finally, an “In Memory of/In Honor of” board for individuals to write the names of loved ones who have or had breast cancer.


This month’s music lineup on the Billy Reid stage will include An Abstract Theory, Isaac, and Audiovysion. Music will begin at approximately 5:45 p.m.


spookyMore than 80 vendors are expected at First Fridays. They’ll feature a variety of items, includingFlorence Lauderdale Tourism holiday ornaments, hand-crafted jewelry and wood items, and hand-stitched scarves and other pieces. Tap dancing artist Christ Rutledge, who is a First Fridays favorite, will also be back in October.


As the year comes to a close, the schedule keeps getting better. In November, First Fridays will partner with UNA to Paint It Purple, while the December event will be a celebration of the holidays.


First Fridays, which is sponsored by Listerhill Credit Union, is a committee of Downtown Florence Unlimited and takes place the first Friday of every month during March through December.


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