First Fridays has been a success beyond, I am sure, even the most optimistic prognosticators. So let us destroy it.
A little background. To the best of my recollection, the idea of First Fridays was introduced by former mayor Jim Smith's wife Joyce, who had witnessed such an event in Michigan. I for one thought it a bit silly to have on a Friday as I thought a full fledged street festival or two would have been a better idea. Anyway, First Friday's began several years ago as an effort to get folks downtown to beef up exposure and sales at downtown businesses. Fastforward to today and we routinely have thousands of people flocking to downtown for First Fridays. For the most part the crowd is pretty upscale and largely devoid of troublemakers. And the crowds have increased in part because the city, wisely in my view, has opted to look the other way with respect to open intoxicants on the sidewalks. People just like to walk around with a beer now and again. Regarding sales, as a downtown retailer, I can attest to the fact that First Fridays is not just a drinking event. People buy stuff and that was the whole idea.
But leave it to a handful of the perpetually disgruntled to have an axe to grind. The crowds are too big! Someone has been sneaking in alcohol in a cooler! Someone might get drunk and cause trouble! We might get sued!
The solution to these minor or hypothetical problems is of course to crack down on the open intoxicants on the street according to the pd's - the perpetually disgruntled's. The pd's are seeking meetings with the mayor, the chief of police or whomever else might work to undermine the event. If they are loud and determined enough, they might just force the hand of law enforcement, who may then crack down on the open intoxicants. Before long the crowds will dwindle, the enthusiasm will be gone, the event will wither away along with the customers and the sales. But hey, at least we won't get sued!