farmersStarting April 8, Downtown Santa Maria will be the place to be for families, fun, fresh produce and community camaraderie.

Downtown Fridays is a new, family-friendly event for Santa Maria’s downtown. The first one will take place on Friday, April 8th at Town Center West (at the north side of Fallas) and this is to become a weekly event through September.

From 5-8 p.m., Downtown Fridays will feature a farmer’s market, live music, food booths, food trucks, vendors, bounce houses, kids activities, and a beer and wine tent. It will alternate English bands and Spanish bands each week.

The City is facilitating this new event by providing police, trash collection, utilities and equipment. The event coordinator is local entrepreneur and radio personality Ed Carcarey.

Already, about 60 vendors have expressed interest.

Also, there is a new advertising campaign that will be running for the event. Look for flyers and banners that will be popping up around town. The city engourages the community to help promote the event by sharing the campaign on their own social media channels.

Downtown Fridays will give people more things to do so they spend more time in the downtown, in addition to coming to the movies and to the library. The added foot traffic will hopefully help businesses in the area and start to change perceptions of Downtown.

This event is an outgrowth of the City’s Downtown Specific Plan, which was updated and adopted earlier last year by the City Council. The plan covers about a 50-block radius around the intersection of Broadway and Main (Highway 135 and 166).

The three main goals are to beautify the area to stimulate business, more activities for people, and partnerships with local businesses.

Park at the City-owned parking structure at Town Center East. Traffic patrol officers and the Downtown Trolley will assist event-goers crossing Broadway.