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First Fridays return to Shafter downtown

Shafter held its first First Friday event of the year on June 14, filling downtown with plenty for the entire family to do.

Started last year, the First Friday events are put on to draw people to the downtown area of Shafter, as well as giving families in town a place to go on a Friday night, without having to go out of town to spend their dollars.

The event had numerous food vendors, including Semper Fries, barbecue and homemade baked goods, as well as agua fresca and other drinks.

There was also plenty to do for the kids, with the Shafter Recreation having cornhole boards and other activities. For those wanting to shop, there were a variety of booths, including jewelry, clothing and housewares, boots, as well as candles and plants for the home.

The event was the brainchild of Shafter Mayor Chad Givens, who, after some convincing, had the support of the Shafter City Council as they planned the events. A committee also was formed, aiming to attract more shoppers and residents to the downtown area of Shafter. "You can look and see all of the families enjoying themselves," said Givens. "This has been a really positive event for the city and its families."

There was live music and a host of information booths set up, including CAPK, Shafter Kiwanis, Shafter Police Department, Shafter Library and Learning Center, and Shafter Healthy Start.

Residents enjoyed the one-stop-shop feel of the event, with so much all in one place. "This is really great. There is so much to do and see. I'm glad they started having these," said Maria Olivas, who was at the event with her granddaughter. "We need more stuff like this in town, getting a lot of people involved in town."

Two more First Fridays are set for August and September.


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