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First Friday is back

A game of chance will make the business crawl even more exciting


After the winter break, First Friday is back to help educate and entertain local residents.

In nine days, Sandy will have the first in a series of six First Fridays in 2013, one per month, which literally could be called a “business crawl.”

Not only will local residents be wandering in and out of downtown businesses, drinking, eating, chatting and enjoying live entertainment, there’s also a game of chance.

That’s right, this month’s First Friday will delight those who love a trip to a casino, Reno or Las Vegas.

Sandy Poker will be the game of the evening when people begin to visit the more than two dozen participating businesses.

This game of chance doesn’t require any investment except time, and the rewards are valued at $25 for two of the seven winners.

By visiting each participating business, local residents can pick a playing card out of a deck. After visiting five businesses, a player will have a poker hand. But by visiting more than five businesses, a player will have more cards from which to choose the five best for a winning poker hand.

Each downtown visitor may enter two poker hands, and the seven best poker hands will receive Sandy Money. The “money” is actually gift certificates redeemable for merchandise at any of the participating First Friday businesses.

“By using certificates, we’re focused on spending them in Sandy,” said George Hoyt, president of Sandy Main Street, “because they’re only redeemable at participating businesses.”

This type of activity is not only fun, it gives local residents a chance to learn what some Sandy businesses have to offer — businesses they have never visited.

“The whole intent is to get people to visit a lot of businesses,” said Hoyt, “to get people to circulate in the downtown.”

Details of the Sandy Poker game are available in the First Friday brochure, which can be found at participating downtown businesses, at City Hall and at the Sandy library as well as in an advertisement in the April 3 Sandy Post.

Holders of winning poker hands will be notified by email April 10, and then the certificates will be available.

“(Winners) can (use the certificates to) go out to dinner,” Hoyt said. “They can go down to the cleaners and pick up their shirts or buy something at a gift shop. The whole intent is to keep the money in Sandy.”

First Friday is an activity of the Promotion Committee of Sandy Main Street, an Oregon corporation now operated by a board of directors and many volunteers.

Private donors have provided funding for the poker game.

The event extends from 5-8 p.m. Friday, April 5, and involves more than two dozen businesses on the boulevards between Ten Eyck and Bluff roads, many offering different incentives to encourage people to visit.

For a list of participating businesses and the specials they are offering, pick up a brochure at participating businesses, City Hall or the library.

For more information on First Friday, call Fran at 503-489-2160 on weekday afternoons.