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Downtown Salisbury Inc.’s First Friday will kick off monthlong food drive

SALISBURY — This month’s First Friday will have a seasonal twist.

Katelin Rice, event coordinator for the Downtown Salisbury Inc., said DSI will hold a canned food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank, beginning with First Friday and ending Nov. 30.

First Friday will be called “Thanks and Giving” and will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

Rice said DSI chose to work with Second Harvest Food Bank because the organization supports 21 programs in Rowan County.

“So we’re helping what I’d like to think is a greater group of people, rather than choosing one specific organization,” Rice said. “And because it supports so many, we don’t feel like anybody is going to be left out.”

First Friday will feature street performers, a kids’ zone on East Fisher Street and free hayrides.

The kids’ zone will include a bounce house and visits from the East Coast Giants Stiltwalker and bubble artist Steve Langley.

Hayrides will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m., with riders picked up at East Fisher and Lee streets.

Rice said all First Friday activities are free.

“But, once again, we do encourage people to bring their canned foods just as a donation,” Rice said.

Rice said she’s hoping to get people “in the spirit of giving.”

“We’re trying to offer some more activities in the hopes that people will come downtown and get excited about the upcoming holiday season,” Rice said. “And, especially since this is a monthlong thing, we really just want the kickoff to be a lot of fun.”

Maps detailing First Friday activities will be available at the visitors center, 204 E. Innes St., and at the DSI table in the kids’ zone on East Fisher Street.

They will also be available at various downtown businesses Friday night.

The maps will include the locations of street performers, information about Second Harvest Food Bank and the names of the about 20 drop-off locations for canned goods.

Drop-off locations will accept canned foods until Nov. 30. Many of them will also accept donations Friday night.

Any nonperishable canned food will be accepted, as will pet food.

Rice said DSI will continue to promote the drive using its social media accounts and the downtownsalisburync.com website for the duration of the food drive.

“So we’ll work to remind people throughout the month that this is still going to be an ongoing thing,” Rice said.

Rice said DSI does not have a specific goal for the drive, but she has high hopes.

“The more the merrier. I’d love to see every location collect a pretty good amount,” Rice said. “The more we can help, the better.”

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

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