Fridays are about to become livelier in Gainesville.
But people will be asked to keep their distance and the dance floor will require temperature checks.
First Friday concerts are coming back this August, and Food Truck Fridays at Lake Lanier Olympic Park will return in July.
Downtown Gainesville is kicking off its First Friday concert on Aug. 7 with Fly Betty, a North Georgia favorite. The free event will last from 7-10 p.m. on the Roosevelt Square by the Hall County Courthouse.
Nicole Ricketts, Gainesville Main Street Manager, said the city has taken extra steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 at the event, including regulating access to the dance floor in front of Fly Betty. People who enter the roped off space will have their temperatures taken with a no-contact thermometer.
“We should be able to get people in and out quickly, and monitor people so it doesn’t get super crowded,” Ricketts said. “I think it’s fun for a party band to have the interaction with them on the stage.”
Those who don’t feel comfortable in a public space can view the Fly Betty concert live via Downtown Gainesville’s Facebook page. Ricketts asks community members who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days or are displaying signs of illness to not attend.
“Hopefully the people who stay home can tune in on Facebook and pretend they’re on Roosevelt Square,” Ricketts said.
All attendees are asked to practice social distancing at the event. Ricketts recommends showing up early and placing down a blanket or chairs to designate a space at the concert. Outdoor games for kids and cornhole will not be included this year to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Ricketts said city staff and volunteers will be on site to monitor the crowds and make sure people are staying safe.
“We’re hoping that people will take personal responsibility,” she said. “We’re not going to have usher-style seating, but we’ll be available to assist as necessary or help people find a spot that works.”
The second and last First Friday concert of the season will feature the Main Street Bob Seger Tribute Band on Friday, Sept. 5.
The first Food Truck Friday of the summer will take place from 5-9 p.m. Friday, July 10, at Lake Lanier Olympic Park.
The event will include live music, food trucks and beer and wine tents. Tables will be spread throughout the park’s plaza and markers will be placed in ordering lines to promote social distancing.
Some of the food and beverage vendors include the Inked Pig, Downtown Drafts, Tap It and Taquiza. Chad Bowmar, a local acoustic artist, will perform live music.
The next Food Truck Friday events will be held on the second Friday of August and September.
Eric Larsen, the park’s special events manager, said people can reserve a table that seats six for $35.
“We wanted to make sure we offered people an opportunity to come out and feel comfortable,” he said.
For more information about Gainesville city events, call Main Street Gainesville at 770-297-1141.