Austin Avenue features a fire juggler

Michael Incavo, senior journalism major, of the Waco symphony orchestra performs “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder at the corner of 6th and Austin at this weekends First Friday celebration. Photo Credit: Dayday Wynn | Lariat Photographer

By Isabella Maso | Reporter

In the shadow of the Alico building on Friday evening, there was an abundance of things to see. Music blared down the street, a man was juggling fire and the aromas of barbecue, tacos, and freshly baked cookies filled in the air.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, members of the Waco community gathered on Austin Ave. for an event called “Welcome to Waco.”

Hundreds of people gathered to enjoy live music, art from local Wacoans and free samples of food from local restaurants, such as Torchy’s, Shorty’s Pizza Shack, and Pokey-o’s .

Houston sophomore Thomas Csorba and his band, The Wilderness, kicked off the evening with a 45 minute set comprised of original music.

After the set, Csorba was flocked by a group of fans who bought his merchandise and CD’s.

“It’s really amazing that this many people showed up,” Csorba said. “It’s pretty fun to get to play for the Waco community and to be part of the city.”

Welcome to Waco was part of the First Friday series held by the city and Creative Waco.

On the first Friday of every month, various businesses extend their hours and hold special deals for the attendees.

Creative Waco and the City of Waco partnered to create the Welcome to Waco evening activities. Megan Davis with the City of Waco was happy with the turnout.

“With opening at 6 p.m. and it being a new event, to see this many people in the street in downtown Waco is awesome,” said Davis. “It’s a new experience for folks and we are super pleased with the turnout.”

The Welcome to Waco event was a stepping stone to achieve the long term goals that are set for downtown Waco.

“First Friday Waco was created in order to help make downtown Waco a destination instead of just one single place. We want to see downtown come alive with people and activity that the whole family can enjoy,” First Friday’s website said.