YOLO SUN NEWS REPORT :
The initial event of an expanded ‘Downtown First Fridays’ (of each month) program occurred during the evening of August 1, 2008. In addition to new art exhibits featuring local artists at Blue Wing Gallery (405 Main St.) and Artists Studio Gallery (1020 Lincoln St.), the Yolo County Administration Center’s current Gallery 625 (Court St.) exhibit was included. A wide variety of of local artists’ creations was on display within these three venues. All gallery shows (which will continue; please contact galleries for dates and details) provided food and wine, and Gallery 625 had beer on hand.
Another food and wine tasting gathering was hosted by Fat Cat Cafe (317 Second Street). Plus, Wear It Naturally, Woodland’s new hemp clothing store, produced an open microphone venue on the plaza at the rear of the paseo (pedestrian walkway) located between the Gifted Penguin (716 Main St.) and Woodsox (720 Main St.). This element of the event featured acoustic music performed by a series of talented, local young persons (late teens and early twenties). A performer of spoken-word was encouraged to discover such an opportunity in Woodland, as they presently have to travel to Sacramento for such activities. Nearby Savory Cafe, which serves daily breakfast and lunch, opened for dinner to help support this occasion.
Public attendance was casually estimated to be two hundred, moving by foot, bicycle and motor vehicle among the galleries. Middle-aged couples were observed walking through dusty road-repair zones on Lincoln Street at dusk, headed for Artists Studio Gallery.
Woodland Mayor Skip Davies, as well as City Manager Mark Deven and Woodland Librarian Sandra Briggs, were seen participating in the tour. All events were free of charge except for a $5 cover for food and wine tasting at Fat Cat Cafe and reasonable menu costs at Savory Cafe.
Apparently, an added component of the tour for some participants was the weekly series of Friday wine tasting events at the Nugget Market, the major grocer closest to downtown at Main / Court Streets, just west of Cleveland Street. A few of these folks described their approach of beginning at Nugget Market, then visiting the galleries and having dinner at a downtown restaurant, as a recent monthly routine.