Extended hours and music  to enhance atmosphere

ATASCADERO — For the new year, the Atascadero Downtown Business Improvement District plans to launch First Fridays events to stimulate the local business economy. 

Part of the ABID’s new theme for the year — 2020 New Year, New Vision — the monthly events are part of the organization’s effort to attract people to shop and dine in downtown Atascadero.  

“There are thriving First Fridays in a lot of cites, and they are experiencing a lot of success,” said Zoe Zappas of Z Villages. She added that the events in other cities are receiving a lot of positive feedback from businesses. 

Starting Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, Atascadero will join the ranks of the popular movement with participating downtown businesses volunteering to keep their doors open past 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

“I feel like it’s a trend that will take over on its own and it will be easy for each of the businesses to take advantage of,” Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish said.

Zappas said the ABID plans on having bands strategically placed downtown and Motions Academy of Dance will have dance troops scattered throughout the area. She said the event’s theme for January is “The Roaring 20s” to celebrate the new decade. 

“It will be post-holidays, so there will be some good deals out there,” Zappas said.

The City and ABID have worked to have First Fridays coincide with other city attractions with the intention of drawing more people downtown. The Art, Wine & Brew Tours will take place during First Friday functions.

The owner of Anna and Mom, Anna Pecharich, said she is excited about the First Fridays. She said events like these help local business owners and remind people of Atascadero’s growing retail and dining district.

“I think as a community, we are not used to shopping in Atascadero, so it’s super exciting to have events in our downtown to give people a reason to come down and then discover everything that’s happening,” Pencharich said as she geared up for the downtown’s annual Winter Wonderland event. “We’ve got businesses opening, and we’re really trying to come to the forefront of people’s minds that it is an option to shop in your town.”

Getting through this together, Atascadero