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Fridays at Five attendees hope public health measures are followed so event can continue

Fridays After Five on July 30, 2021
Fridays After Five on July 30, 2021(WVIR)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 10:34 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Over the last few weeks, the fun tradition of Charlottesville’s Fridays After Five has picked up after already being interrupted once by COVID-19.

Now, as cases rise in the Blue Ridge Health District, attendees are hopeful that another cancellation isn’t in store.

Masks were hit-or-miss outdoors at Fridays After Five (the CDC has only advised certain locations should mask-up indoors), but Larry Frantz says he is seeing more masking indoors. He does it too.

“Just follow the rules,” he said. “It’s not that difficult.”

Frantz is pleading for people to follow the rules because it’s the first time he gets to experience Charlottesville for moments like these.

“I moved here from Ohio last year,” he said. “Last year was dead.”

But it’s not just for grown-ups -- kids have missed out on these moments too. Paola Christy, a former teacher who was at Fridays After Five, says follow the rules, and keep the kids in mind.

“We can’t have children continue to enter their years in the future without creating some form of normalcy for them,” she said. “It’s important. Children need to play and socialize and we need that for them.”

But the event isn’t only about music and beer. There’s also the charitable side of the event.

After more than a year of cancellations and virtual events, avoiding a new COVID surge can help those helping others.

“During the pandemic, foundations weren’t able to raise the kind of money they’re used to raising,” said Elaine Finley, who was working at Fridays After Five. “This really helps boost up all the charitable organizations around here that help the people in our area "

There’s some skepticism and anxiety, but most of all people just want to be able to enjoy themselves.

“I feel like our time is running out for outdoor events,” Finley said. “I’m a little worried we might go backward. So get out and have fun.”

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