To the editor:
I have lived in Auburn for 22 years. I live in the house in which my mother was raised and my grandparents lived. Before that I lived north of town, about 7 miles away. For my entire life I’ve been connected to Auburn. Our family is connected to Auburn and we have always loved the tradition of things like the ACD Festival and the Free Fall Fair. As a young girl my mom would bring us to town and we would get so excited to see the fair setting up shop just a couple of blocks away. In those days, there wasn’t a whole lot of other things going on “uptown.” Of course there were the sidewalk sales in July and the occasional trip to Martha’s popcorn, back when Martha herself was sitting on the bench, but not a lot of things to do otherwise.
Fast forward many years; I remember sitting with my sister at the kitchen table or driving somewhere and she would tell me about “this idea she had” or a meeting she went to in which she heard something cool that she wanted to do or start here in our community. I remember a few years ago she was talking about “this thing” that they were doing in other towns in the area called First Fridays. I thought it sounded like a great idea … but we only have good weather for a few months and frankly, how are you going to get people to come?
First Fridays started sometime in 2015 or 2016. I remember Sarah and I sitting on blankets on the concrete with our kids to watch whatever event or entertainment was planned for that month. There were times there were only a handful of people who attended those “first” First Friday events, but we continued to show up, even in cold weather. I remember Sarah’s enthusiasm for Auburn always came through when she would tell me what was planned for the next month or months to come. If you have been to one of these events lately, you can see how it has grown. There are several food trucks, lots of people, businesses are open late and live music in several places around town. My sister has made an impact on small business and most importantly on our community.
First Fridays are just one example of many things that Sarah has had a hand in bringing to Auburn. Truthfully, I could go on and on about all of the things she’s been a part of, often behind the scenes, but they only let me submit 600 words. If you love Auburn like we love Auburn, you should vote for Sarah Payne to continue the progress she has already helped to create downtown.
Please join me in voting for Sarah Payne this November.