One of the most popular events in Auburn will be returning to downtown streets when Cheers on Corner kicks off on Friday evening.
Cheers on the Corner, which wasn't held last year because of the pandemic, will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, with downtown Auburn closed to thru-traffic and turned into an Entertainment District.
Jessica Kohn, downtown coordinator for the Downtown Merchants Association, said it feels great to be able to put on the event again.
"I feel like so many people are looking forward to this event after not having it last year or not having any events," she said. "Because we did miss it last year, we're bringing it back bigger and better this year."
The event is open to all, but only those who secure tickets will be able to take part in the event offerings from more than 20 downtown businesses, restaurants and bars. Those offerings will include a sample of food and adult beverages ranging from wine to beer and cocktails.
Restaurants that don't have frontage on College Street or Magnolia Avenue will partner with downtown retailers.
Restaurants taking part include Acre, Bow & Arrow, The Depot, The Hound, Rob's Ribs, Halftime, Esposito's, Moe's Original BBQ, Draft House, and others, while there will also be stops at retailers and bars, including Southeastern and 17-16
"If you are really excited to taste something from the Hound, you will go to fab'rik. If you want to try something from Acre, you will go to Behind the Glass," said Kohn. "Basically, all of our retailers that are participating as a stop have partnered with a restaurant."
The event will also feature live music from 6 to 9 p.m. by The Plains, a local group that plays a mix of originals and covers.
Kohn reiterated that the event is open to all who want to enjoy and explore downtown, and that there will be entertainment for children as well.
"Anybody can come into downtown to just enjoy the live music," she said. "If you're not a ticket-holder, you can still walk in and order your favorite beverage and take it to go.
"As far as it being kid-friendly, we are adding yard games this year to the event," added Kohn. "And we'll have a pop-up with Rock 'N Roll Pinball, so they're coming from Opelika to set up some pinball machines, so I know that the kids will love those activities."
The yard games will be set up outside of St. Dunstan's on Magnolia Avenue.
Even with the retail and restaurant sectors being some of the hardest hit by the pandemic, making money isn't their prime motivation for participating in the event, said Kohn.
"They're doing it to give back to the community," she said. "More people will know about them, so if you haven't had a chance, for instance, to try Rob's Ribs yet, maybe you'll try them at Cheers on the Corner and then you'll come back to support them because you did get to try them.
"A lot of these restaurants and retailers are hoping that you'll come back to support them after the event because of maybe what you saw the night of."
Tickets for the event are $40 if ordered prior to the event by 1 p.m. on Friday. They can be purchased at www.downtownauburnonline.com. Tickets will cost $45 after that, if available.
College Street and Magnolia Avenue downtown will close at 4 p.m. on Friday, and all vehicles parked along the street need to be moved by 3 p.m.
Sponsored by Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau and the Fountainview Mansion, Cheers on the Corner will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.