First pg 1 5-12-22

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Who doesn't like cotton candy? On left: Grayson Cote, 4. In front: Elias Cote, 2. In back: Skye Aresenault, 7. All of Putnam.

DJ PLAYR2 filled Union Square with music.

Muralist Emida Roller added some bears to the Bear Hands Brewing Company. Artist Betsy Johnston is on page 1.

Joshua Deojay of Cracked Yak Custom Carving shapes Audrey II.

1st Fridays a success despite the clouds

By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
PUTNAM — Nothing. Not even some seriously threatening clouds put a damper on the first First Fridays event of the season.
Gary Osbrey, president of the Putnam Business Association, said: “We got this one in despite the threat of rain. The crowds were down because of the weather, but those who attended had fun and the restaurants were packed for the entire event. Kayla Trant and her committee did a great job producing the event and we are on track for more vendors for the next First Fridays on June 3”.
The downtown wide event came back renewed after a two-year hiatus.
Sheila Frost, coordinator of the PBA, said “Happy to be back in person and enjoy our wonderful community! We invite you to Discover Putnam.” Despite the black clouds, about 750 people came and about 30 vendors, she said.
“The weather dampened attendance. Even though the rain held off, it was cold and windy and I think that kept people away. However, many attendees perused the vendors and enjoyed the entertainment and then went into the restaurants and shops to enjoy the remainder of the evening. It was a good start and we are looking forward to sunny days and higher attendance for June, July and August.”
She said there is “more space in Union Square this year, allowing for a Food Court and family-friendly activities including face painting, corn hole games and balloon artists. These activities, along with Community Art from Windows Art Gallery and Tunk City Revival, will be available through the season.”
Kayla Trant, chairperson of First Fridays, agreed. “The picnic area was successful for what we envisioned families using it for. The Community Arts tents that were on both sides of the street were happy with the turnout of kids getting involved. And there was a lot of engagement from our featured artists, Emida Roller, Beth Johnston and Josh Deojay.”
Coming up for the June First Fridays on June 3, Trant said: “We have: Main stage: The Sugar Kings; Union Square: Wayne Sinclair; Roaming entertainment: Jason Pipitone; Featured Artists: Alison Ciarlante; Featured Muralist: Emida Roller; Featured Wood Carver: Josh Deojay. The committee is planning for lots more Community Arts for the whole family to engage in and much more, she said.
Elaine Turner, co-chair with Amanda Heibel, of the Artist Vendor committee said there was “amazing teamwork overall.” Rounding out her committee is: Audrey Waters and Katie Lusa.
“We received positive feedback from the Vendors who appreciated our orderly greeting and space assignments. All went smoothly. Even the rain held off!”
She added: “Cool, talented variety of artisans...Wood items, beads, soaps, cupcakes, jewelry, photo booth, face painters, tattoo artist, community arts, tie dye, dancers, Band, DJ, Muralist, Wood Carver and fine arts. Thanks to our Volunteer Spotlight...Alzheimer’s Association, Lehto Builders. Non-profits.Young Marines, Putnam Rotary Club and DKH at Home. We look forward to our next First Friday event!”
Brought to you by Discover Putnam, the Putnam Business Association and Connecticut - Mystic Country. The Main Stage on the lawn of the Congregational Church of Putnam is "proudly sponsored" by the Putnam Area Foundation.

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