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Griffin’s Great and Growing Farmers’ Market opens this
morning in a new location – the former Taylor Street Middle School parking lot
on the corner of Fourth and Taylor streets – with officials hoping this new
venue will increase the participation of shoppers and vendors, alike.

Kira Harris=Bragg, director of Griffin’s Main Street
Program, said the change was made after organizers listened to feedback from
community members and vendors who felt the prior location – the city parking
garage on Solomon Street – was not the ideal location for an open-air market.

“In this location, there is a covered walkway and plenty of
parking,” Harris-Bragg said. “It’s a more accessible and visible space and
that’s really what we’re looking forward to. On the whole, I think it’s going
to be very positive to be in this location.”

To date, 30 vendors have submitted applications to
participate in this year’s Farmers’ Market, but it should be noted that not all
vendors will be present for each week’s market.

“We never know who’s going to be there from week to week,”
Harris-Bragg said. “That’s actually a good thing because it gives a great
measure of diversity. Hopefully, it will also keep people coming back from week
to week because they’ll never know what will be there.”

And increasing participation, Harris-Bragg said, is one of
her primary goals for the Farmers’ Market.

“We want to bring people into our community, but we really
want to change peoples’ mindset to shop locally, to purchase locally-grown
produce,” she said. “We want people who live in Griffin and are from Griffin to
support this local market. If there’s anything I want to stress, it’s to ask
the community to please start supporting what’s here. It might start off small,
but if the people come, it will grow.”

In addition to local produce, baked goods, honey, jams and
jellies and country gifts, those attending this year’s market will also have
access to extensive gardening information from highly-knowledgeable volunteers.

“This year, we will have volunteer managers who are working
towards obtaining master gardener status,” Harris-Bragg said.

Griffin’s Great and Growing Farmers’ Market will be held
from 9 a.m. to noon, directly across from the old Coca Cola building on Taylor
Street.

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The Griffin-Spalding County community will once again have
an opportunity to enjoy a movie under the stars as Flicks at Sixth presents
“The Karate Kid” at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the pocket park at the intersection of
Sixth and Solomon streets.

Kira Harris-Bragg, director of the Griffin Main Street
Program, said the family-friendly event is a cooperative effort of the Main
Street Program, the Spalding County Parks and Recreation Department and the
Downtown Council.

“It is a partnership that has really, really benefited the
community because families are able to come out and see a movie without paying
a thing,” Harris-Bragg said, adding that the average cost for a family of four
to see a movie is between $60 and $80, including tickets, popcorn and a
beverage.

“We took that into consideration with the idea of having a
movie series downtown to benefit the community,” Harris-Bragg explained. “It’s
really exciting that this is the second year we’re doing a free movie program.”

Those attending Flicks at Sixth will be offered free
refreshments furnished by First Baptist Church, who, along with Kentucky Fried
Chicken and United Bank have provided additional backing for the event.

Harris-Bragg said Flicks at Sixth is just the type of event
that has been a goal of city and county officials, who sought to create an
event space and downtown activity that would draw residents to the area.

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