The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

City commission discusses extension of First Fridays


Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

THE INITIAL First Friday effort on July 7 brings people to the area of the Art Park in downtown Ironwood.


Ironwood - There's support to extend Ironwood's First Friday downtown promotional effort beyond September.

On Monday, the city commission discussed the possibility of adding at least an October First Friday night, when many stores remain open later and musical entertainment is offered in the Art Park.

So far, the effort has received a thumbs-up from the general public and city officials, bringing good crowds to the downtown on a night when the streets might otherwise be deserted.

The next First Friday is scheduled for Sept. 1, the last one planned for this summer under a trial basis.

Ironwood Community Development Director Tom Bergman said if there's enough support, the promotional effort could be extended, however.

On Monday, Mayor Annette Burchell and commissioner Jim Mildren spoke in favor of more First Fridays and fellow commissioner Rick Semo suggested a possible tie-in with the Jack Frost Festival, which has been moved from the first Friday in December to Saturday this year.

The First Friday promotion has worked well in connection with the farmers market in Depot Park as people have tended to visit the downtown businesses after going to the park. Commissioners were told Monday the market will remain open through October.

In an unrelated matter, commissioners agreed to send Mike Premo a letter of congratulations upon his retirement from the Michigan Department of Transportation. He has worked closely with the city on several projects, including the two years of the massive project to reconstruct Cloverland Drive.

Premo is retiring as manager of MDOT's Crystal Falls office.


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