Friday night sights downtown

JANELLE PATTERSON The Marietta Times Marietta High School and Marietta Middle School choir students perform a choreographed flash mob to Smash Mouth’s version of “I’m a Believer” during Marietta Main Street’s First Fridays festivities.

Many Marietta families were found downtown Friday evening for a First Fridays event centered on Marietta City Schools.

“We’re hoping people see some of the great kids and the things they do with our schools,” said Superintendent Will Hampton. “We’re a part of the community and we wanted to be a visible part of that tonight here downtown as the shops decked out their storefronts for us.”

With “Go Tigers” flags hanging from lamp posts throughout the business district families set off in search of answers to the Phillips Elementary School Scavenger Hunt.

“We came out originally because she has art hanging at the (Riverside Artist Gallery) but then we walked by the Phillips table and they invited us on the scavenger hunt,” said Amanda Bartlett, 34, of Marietta.

Bartlett’s 6-year-old daughter Kya was just as excited to find the answers to the questions as she was to see some friends from school walking around downtown and to find painted rocks.

JANELLE PATTERSON The Marietta Times Kya Bartlett, 6, of Marietta, proudly displays a painted rock she found while out on a scavenger hunt in downtown Marietta during Marietta Main Street’s First Fridays festivities.

“I found four rocks, even a shoe!” she exclaimed.

Alex Myers, the physical education teacher at Phillips Elementary, said he had suggested the idea of a scavenger hunt as a way to get students and their families into stores in a fun way. The title of the hunt was “Are you smarter than a Phillips student?”

“Plus the parents get to see what things their kids are learning in school,” he said. “We have a science riddle on there, an order of operations question and even a history of Marietta question.”

For those that finished the hunt, an entry into a drawing for a spirit basket, sweatshirt, T-shirt and a stuffed tiger were all up for grabs.

“Pretty much every student so far to participate has been from Phillips,” said Myers. “It’s great to see them walking around downtown and the shops open later.”

Later, local residents hanging around the Armory lawn Friday were privy to a surprise.

“It was an idea that came to me when we were trying to figure out what performance all my (choir) students grades 6 through 12 could participate in for such a large venue,” said choir director Liz Thacker. “That’s when it hit me, we could do a flash mob.”

And when Smash Mouth’s version of “I’m a Believer” came on the loud speakers, seniors were followed by younger students, clapping into the center of the grass before breaking out in moves like the wave, twist and ending with a train. About 40 students were part of the choreography.

“When I’m with my choir friends I laugh more,” said Nick Kelsey, 15, of Marietta. “And this is a good way to advertise what we do and raise money to perform more. Plus it’s cool to see the community support us too.”

Onlookers cheered and some showed surprise when the dance broke out, many pulling out their phones to record the performance.

The next First Fridays event will be the opening to the Marie Antoinette Festival in November with a downtown cake walk in merchants stores and a children’s masquerade ball at the Betsey Mills Club.

What’s next

Marie Antoinette Festival, Nov. 3-5:

Nov. 3:

¯ Marietta Main Street’s First Fridays Cake Walk.

¯ La Musee Rose Children’s Ball, Betsey Mills Club.

Nov. 4:

¯ Fourth annual Masquerade Ball, Betsey Mills Club.

¯ The Castle: Night at the Museum.

Nov. 5:

¯ Bloody Mariet-etta Brunch, Lafayette Hotel.

¯ Marietta’s Mansions Walking Tour.

Source: Marie Antoinette Foundation for Women’s History.