firstsaturday

In this 2018 photo, locals stand outside Felix Street Gourmet, one of the many businesses that participates in Downtown First’s First Saturdays events.

If one of your new year’s resolutions was to shop local and be more connected to your community, this Saturday is a good place to start.

Entering its fifth year, First Saturdays continues to highlight local businesses with special events, discounts and experiences in Downtown St. Joseph.

Organized by Downtown First, First Saturdays will kick off at 10 a.m. this Saturday in Downtown St. Joseph with more of a low-key affair.

“Even though it’s January and people may feel like they don’t want to get out because of all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, there’s some great new businesses to discover Downtown and some existing business you may not know about,” Criss Coffman, president of Downtown First, said.

There will be a combination of events, from big communal contests like Club Geek’s “Injustice 2 Tournament” at 7 p.m. to refreshments at Gallery on Sixth from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The St. Joseph Police Department will offer a history talk with Sgt. Roy Hoskins at the St. Joseph Public Library’s Downtown Branch at 2 p.m.

There also will be a caricature artist and musical guest at Kranitz, Sadoun & Carpenter, PC and sales all around the area at different stores.

“We want to keep Downtown at the forefront of people’s thoughts and we want to think Downtown first when they’re looking to grab a bite to eat or find something fun to do or find the perfect gift for someone,” Coffman said.

Looking back on 2018, Coffman said the organization couldn’t be more encouraged by the public’s response to First Saturdays and its special events, like its Craft Beer Walk and Wine and Art Walk.

“We are super excited about the growth we’ve seen in this past year. Our alcohol walks have sold out twice in a row, so we’re anticipating on that being the future and we’re hoping to grow and offer more,” she said.

Most of the events are open to all ages. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/downtownstj.

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Andrew Gaug can be reached at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowGaug.

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