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Local business owner asks BMA for street closures for First Fridays in downtown Erwin

By Ty Butler

Town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen met for a work session on Monday, July 18, to review a food truck application request that would barricade Union Street to Main Street and block off each end of Nolichucky Avenue in downtown Erwin.

Jan Bowden of Union Street Gallery proposed the road closure to take place on every first Friday of every month.

She explained that the closure would allow food trucks to occupy space during Erwin’s First Fridays event. According to the Town of Erwin’s permit application, between four to eight food trucks are expected to be present for upcoming First Friday events.

“We would hope that this grows and expands so that other businesses on Main Street want to participate,” said Town of Erwin Communications Specialist Jamie Rice.

Bowden referenced the Unicoi Public Library’s End of Summer Reading Party, saying that her profits quadrupled from just being near the UCPL event. She noted that profits from that single day reflected a total month’s work of labor at her business.

“Saturday was fantastic, and it was all because of the library’s event downtown,” she added.

The proposal would last until the end of the year, but will need to be reapproved to continue throughout 2023.

“I think having a trial period of these four months is a good test run,” said Rice.

The BMA agreed to adjourn, pushing the proposal back to discuss at a later date.