Nearly every corner of downtown Elkins will come alive with entertainment on Friday as Davis & Elkins College, in conjunction with Elkins On Trac, presents A Night on the Town to welcome back students. The free block party begins at 5 p.m. and events last well into the evening.
"This is the perfect event to bring the college and the community together," said D&E Vice President for Student Affairs Scott Goddard. "We've had fun working with Elkins On Trac and the downtown businesses to put together this great evening of entertainment."
The event is organized as On Trac's First Fridays, which have been conducted each month since July 2012 in partnership with Artists at Work to offer free activities and specials at participating businesses.
Friday’s block party will feature a performance by Crescent Circus.
"This month will be the largest event we have held to date," said Cynthia Sandeno, president of Artists at Work. "The partnership between downtown businesses, Elkins On Trac and Davis & Elkins College will allow us to host a downtown party where the community can peruse local shops, buy from local artisans, enjoy live music out on the street, watch a movie, enjoy a comedy show and much more."
Third Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from Davis Avenue to Kerens Avenue beginning at 3 p.m. to provide a street performance area, complete with a sound stage. Two bands are set to perform-ELIM from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Kingsfoil from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The band ELIM, comprised of brothers Mike and Mark Longhelt, delivers a heart-pounding, synth-laden, pop- and hip-hop-infused sound.
The Indie pop rock band Kingsfoil features Jordan Davis on guitar and vocals; Tristan Martin on guitar, keyboard and vocals; Tim Warren on bass and vocals; and Frankie Muniz from "Malcolm in the Middle" on drums.
Also along Third Street, Crescent Circus will preview its magic show and visitors can test their skills on the National Guard Climbing Wall.
The Masons, the upbeat acoustic duo of Skip and Cindi Mason, will perform from 7-9 p.m. at Kissel Stop.
Sponsored by Beander's, On Trac will present the movie "Madagascar 3" outdoors at Huntington Bank drive-thru parking lot on Davis Avenue. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the film free of charge. Guests should bring their own chairs and blankets to keep warm. Showtime is at 8 p.m.
The laughter and magic of Crescent Circus comes to CJ Maggie's Armadillo Flats at 8 p.m. Magician Nathan Kepner and circus artist Morgan Tsu-Raun, along with their four doves and pug-beagle mix dog, combine forces for an energizing and interactive performance.
At 9 p.m., comedian Jeff Caldwell brings his clean and clever standup routine to Henry G's. Caldwell has recently appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
Bowyer Drive, comprised of five native West Virginians, will perform their home-grown modern country rock with a bluesy kick at Beander's beginning at 10 p.m.
Washington, D.C.,-based DJ Mike Longhelt will spin a mix of tunes at Jabberwock beginning at 11 p.m.
Throughout the evening, specials will be available at downtown merchants including Jivaka Wellness Center, Artists at Work, Elkins Sewing Center, Fashion Closet and Sewing for the Season. Davis & Elkins College students will receive vouchers good toward the purchase of food in various downtown restaurants.
The Elkins-Randolph County YMCA will participate in the event for the first time this month by offering a Parent's Night Out. Parents can bring their children to the YMCA for an evening of games and activities from 5-10 p.m. Cost is $10 per child or $5 if you mention First Fridays. Parents must sign up at the YMCA in advance. The YMCA will also offer free use of their facilities from 5 to 7 p.m. as a part of the First Friday celebration.
Artists at Work invites folks to browse the collection of new art work created by more than 20 local member artists. While there, guests can enjoy a homemade treat or pick up a book to read as the co-op will be hosting a used book and bake sale.
Parking for the evening will be available in the lot behind Elkins City Hall.
"This has been a great collaboration with On Trac, the businesses and the city," Goddard said. "We really want to get our students out into the downtown, let them have an opportunity to get a look at the businesses, and allow the businesses to get to know our students."
For additional information, call 304-637-1211 or visit www.dewv.edu.