A second season of Downtown Fridays has launched in Santa Maria.
The weekly farmer’s market and street fair in the Santa Maria Town Center West parking lot kicked off Friday night and is expected to run through September.
This family friendly event for Santa Maria’s downtown will occur every Friday from 5 p.m. to sunset, weather permitting.
Longer hours as the sun sets later is one change from last year’s event, organizer Ed Carcarey said.
More than an hour into the season opener, Carcarey declared himself happy.
“It looks pretty good to me,” Carcarey said. “They came early this time. Normally Santa Maria shows up late. … We had a decent crowd at 5 and it’s just been steady.”
He was especially excited that the stream of new arrivals continued into the event.
Some 60 vendors were set up offering food, beverages, sweet treats and other services.
Also new this is year is the opportunity to hold a private party by renting a tent near the stage, Carcarey said.
Admission and parking are free. Live music will include both Spanish and English entertainment.
The event began last year to help boost the number of people in downtown Santa Maria, giving residents and visitors something to do while also boosting businesses.
Organizers said the event attracted 2,000 visitors weekly in 2016.
The community event is a partnership among the city and local event promoters Carcarey and Sofia Lariz.