September 30, 2005
Today marked the last day for one of the biggest Friday events here in Charlottesville. It's Fridays After Five, and today several hundred people said goodbye until next year.
Just days before the Pavilion was set to open, a storm blew through Charlottesville and the New Pavilion, causing damage that many thought would prevent it's opening date.
"Nothing has stopped any of the shows. All the shows have gone off as scheduled," said Pavilion General Manager Kirby Hutto. "[There's] a lot of work that goes on in the background to compensate for those little bumps in the road."
Some of those bumps aren't completely evened out yet.
"We still have a punch list of items with our contractors, some things that we're going to wait until we're through with our performance season [to complete]," Hutto explained.
With minor touches left on the pavilion, the entertainment and fun has continued.
First time Fridays After Five goer Marielle Davis says she just can't wait to experience the excitement for herself.
"I'm really excited to finally get a night off so I can make to Fridays After Five," said Davis. "I didn't know it was going to be the last one until today, so I'm really really excited to finally be out and see the excitement out here."
Store owners on the east end to the mall say they've felt the energy of Fridays After Five since its premiere at the new Downtown Pavilion.
"Well I think it's increased business and it also has increased our visibility and I think the visibility of downtown," said store owner Morgan Perkins. "It's a fun place to be now."
After the end of this year's Friday's After Five season, there are still a few more performances at the Downtown Pavilion this month. Hutto says that there is no official start date for next year's Friday's After Five season, but the planning will begin very soon.
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