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Anniston’s Fourth Friday events came to a close with its last such gathering of the season.
The final celebration for the year included a dunk tank featuring Mayor Jack Draper.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Draper. “Believe it or not, the water is nice.”
Draper said the water for the dunk tank actually came from the fire trucks. He said he was excited to see everyone downtown and if his soaking sacrifice helped get a few more people out, that he was more than happy to do it.
Begun in 2014, “Fourth Fridays” bring out local vendors, food, games, and entertainment to a couple of blocks of Noble Street in Anniston on the fourth Friday of warm-weather months. Main Street Event Coordinator Karla Eden directs the event for the city of Anniston.
Eden said it was her idea to put the mayor in the dunking booth.
“I asked and he kindly obliged,” she said.
Eden said for the last Friday of the season, she asked that all 20 vendors have a carnival-style theme with classic carnival games such as a bottle ring toss. There was also a kiddie train and a classic car “cruise-in.”
Eden invited the band Stadium Drive back for its second Fourth Friday. Based in Calhoun County, the young trio act rocked the stage with big sound.
“We have a song out on Spotify and Apple Music, all of your large streaming platforms,” said Andrew Mays, lead singer and guitarist.
The group said it would have another song coming out next month, with plans to do an EP.
Also in attendance was Big Sam the Balloon Man, with a long line of festival goers eager to get their hands on one of his creations.
Big Sam said he had been to all of the Fourth Friday events, and had a full schedule of twisting up all kinds of fun in the near future. He said he would also be at Hokes Bluff City Fest, and many of the fall festivals lined up in other neighboring cities.
“Got started with a five-year-old daughter, a $3 bag of balloons, and I’ve been at it 22 years now,” Big Sam said.
Tons of booths were set up for vendors to give away candy, prizes, popcorn, and snacks. Mr. Dan’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling was among them, with a table toss game, tons of goodies and free stuff for the festival patrons.
“We just love to give back to the community,” said Tasha Carter of Mr. Dan’s. “We started coming in July, and we love it. It’s so much fun.”
Near the booth was a stunt man riding a tiny tricycle pulled by a man in full steampunk attire.