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Four First Friday Faves

Here in Augusta – we like to celebrate! Any ol’ occasion will do, but one of my favorite local celebrations is First Friday. Head downtown on the first Friday of every month and you’ll see everyone from families with kids, hipsters, guys in bowties, edgy artists and possibly zombies – all out shopping, eating and just celebrating life in an awesome Southern city. It seems like every month I have a new list of favorites, so don’t be surprised if you see another list pop up. In the immortal words of Lavar Burton – “But you don’t have to take my word for it…” come out and experience First Friday for yourself!

    Fashion Shows – Retail shops like Curvitude Boutique and Vintage Ooollee take full advantage of First Fridays by hosting special fashion shows and offering post show specials and deals. Perfect for curvy divas and vintage vixens – or for those of us just looking for something unique and affordable. (Thanks to Curvitude for the awesome picture!)

    Live Music – Lots of downtown businesses, like local design team, Wier / Stewart, allow bands and musicians of all kinds serenade the crowds. If you’re a music junkie – band jump down Broad Street and get a little bit of everything! If you prefer to sit and listen, many of the bars downtown have live music and drink specials inside. (Thanks to Wier / Stewart for the awesome picture!)

    Entertainment – Lawd, Jesus, it’s a fire! But a good one. Local groups like Pyroteque have free, family friendly shows during First Friday. You may also come across belly dancers, folk dancers and just regular folks dancing in the street. (Thanks to Pyroteque and Rich Bennett for the awesome picture!)

    Shopping – Local stores like Psychotronic Augusta, The Book Tavern and shops along Artists Row are open late and offer special deals for First Friday shoppers. From $1 vinyls to acrylic paintings of James Brown to BOGO books – you never know what you’ll find ‘til you look! (Thanks to First Friday for the awesome picture!)

    I’ll see you next time!

    The Porkchop

    We just HAD to share the awesome blog from Sally Ann about one of Augusta’s most fabulous artists. For more of Sally’s awesomeness, visit her blog: http://www.sallyannk.com

    There are very few people that make such striking first impressions as Leonard ‘Porkchop’ Zimmerman. I’d been a huge fan of his work around Augusta for years, and I didn’t actually meet him until the night before his gallery opening at Gaartdensity. A special friends and family showing, Matt and I were the last ones to arrive before close, and suddenly we were the only ones there. In the gallery was Matt, Leonard, the gallery owner and myself. Leonard walked me through the story of his collection, paintings of robots staring at the stars, and a bird on a robot’s shoulder. The collection was the story of the sudden loss of his partner in 2006 to Leonard’s path of grieving and living life thereafter. We hadn’t known each other 5 minutes, and we both cried together as he told me stories of he and Brian. It was beautiful.

    Since that gallery showing, I see Leonard all over downtown, having worked just a few doors down from Wier Stewart, where he works as a graphic designer. An Augusta native and SCAD graduate, you can always spot him in Downtown Augusta, in converse shoes (which may not be the same color shoe on each foot), and he’s always chewing on candy or has a dum dum in his mouth. If you can’t find Leonard, you’re sure to see his Happy stickers around town as well.

    A connoisseur of sweets, it’s an understatement to say Leonard has a sweet tooth. Mixology has never really been my thing, but of all the years I spent bartending, there is only one drink I can proudly claim to have created: The Porkchop. Sweet and fruity. And perfecly Porkchop. And now that I’m retired from F&B, this will be the only drink that is “by Sally”. I’m quite proud of my concoction, and Leonard absolutely loves it!

    The Porkchop:

    Cut the end off the bottom side of a Twizzler, place in glass. Fill glass with ice.

    1 oz. Mandarin Absolut Vodka + 1/2 oz. raspberry Schnapps. Top off with pineapple juice. Bite off that first bit of Twizzler and you have your straw.

    Make for your friends and have a Porkchop party! Get adventurous and add other candy garnishes! You can visit his site and see more of his work here.

    Photos courtesy of Noah Fecks and Leonard Zimmerman. Find the original blog post here: http://www.sallyannk.com/2013/06/the-porkchop_7.html

    Augusta Trade, Exhibit and Event (TEE) Center Sneak Peek

    Augusta’s newest meeting space, the TEE Center, is scheduled to open early 2013 and is in the final stages of construction. Peggy Seigler, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the Augusta CVB, gives you a sneak peek inside the building and shares some of her favorite things about the new space. For more information, visit www.AugustaTEECenter.com or call 706-823-6600.

    Watch the Video!

    Casual Seafood at Rhinehart’s

    If you love seafood, Rhinehart’s is the place for you! When you first pull into the parking lot and walk into the restaurant, you won’t see your typical restaurant decor.

    Instead of your typical tables and chairs, you have picnic tables which have been signed by many of the customers that have eaten at Rhinehart’s (if you’ve got a pen, sign your name too!). The atmosphere is very laid back and  is one of Augusta’s hidden treasures. For an appetizer, or as they call them “Serious Snacks”, you must try the Fried Cheese Triangles. They are to die for.

    If you like spicy foods then you should try the Spicy Boiled Shrimp, which you can get with or without the spice, and is served with hot butter. One of my favorites is the shrimp basket, there are also combo baskets if you like to mix and match. If you’re in town on a Tuesday or Saturday night, go and get fresh Alaskan Snow Crab legs for $8.99 a pound! They have a variety of seafood and will cook to order.

    Rhinehart’s is a must for locals and visitors!

    Rhinehart’s Website

    Two locations:

    3051 Washington Rd.
    Augusta, Ga. 30907
    706-860-BEER (2337)
    Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. – Midnight
    Sunday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

    305 North Bel Air Rd.
    Evans, Ga. 30809
    706-868-6850
    Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    Friday and Saturday – 11 a.m. – Midnight

    Family Reunion Planning Workshop

    Family reunions are great fun, and great for family relationships. We know, because Augusta has played host to reunions large and small for generations.

    And over the years, we’ve learned a lot about what makes them work—from hotel proposals to welcome packets to ideas for activities.

    Join “Cousin” Michelle Bovian from the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau for a workshop that will help make your reunion in Augusta the best ever. The workshop is free, but reservations are required.

    Watch Video to learn what you’ll get to do during the 2012 family reunion planning workshop.

    To register, call the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau at (706) 823-6600 ext: 226

    Family Reunion Planning Workshop

    Saturday, February 4 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    at the Kroc Center: 1833 Broad Street

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