Original art, old cars, songs of heartache and a modern-day traditional burlesque troupe are among the reasons to attend September’s First Friday Artwalk and Downtown Live in Ashland.

As the days of summer come to an end, Ashland Main Street Executive Director Danny Craig is encouraging area residents to enjoy the street scenes, live music and gallery exhibitions set for today after work.

“The season is winding down and we have only September and October left to enjoy the downtown streets,” Craig said Thursday, adding “And, it’s free!”

Music on the street will be provided by singer/songwriter Cat Cirner, backed by a band of progressive musicians with bluegrass instruments performing at Judd Plaza, Craig said. Unable to describe the music of Cat and the K9s, Craig joked that it might be called “bluegrazz,” in recognition of Cirner’s “jazz vocalizations” and the group’s considerable musical skills.

The street scene will also include inflatables for kids as well as live music and individual displays and exhibits at places including The Upstairs Gallery, 1414 Gallery and Sincerely Yours consignment shop, Craig said. Live music will also be performed inside the Pendleton Art Center, which is the focal point of the entire First Friday Artwalk, Craig noted.

Ashland Main Street will also be providing a stage for entertainers hosted by Joe Waugh, owner of Banshees on 16th Street. Waugh said he is again bringing members of the Tinderbox Sideshow from Lexington to perform in Ashland, along with their guests Deadly Sins Burlesque.

“We’re calling it Big Top Night and it’s going to be really cool,” Waugh said, pausing from the job of creating a customized “fetish gas mask” for a customer.

Waugh said Tinderbox Sideshow, whose primary members have appeared on America’s Got Talent, will perform an expanded version of their act created just for the Ashland audience, along with “kind of like a traditional burlesque act” by members of Deadly Sins Burlesque. The shows will begin around 8 p.m., Waugh said.

Wrapping up the evening, Chimney Corner Cafe will host the monthly Ashland Main Street Songwriters Showcase starting around 9:30 p.m. featuring Ben Robinette and Matt Marinchick.


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