June 16, 2024

“Fridays After Five” is back

This Friday marks the first of a summer full of “Fridays After Five,” a fundraising event put on by the Union County Young Professionals (UCYP). Traditionally put on by the Union County Development Association (UCDA), UCYP has taken over for the event’s fifth year of activities.

Fridays After Five are primarily hosted at the Creston Elks Lodge and feature a variety of business sponsors, musicians and non-profits.

This Friday, the business sponsor and the non-profit are both Creston Elks, with Justin Goodchild as the musician. The event runs from 5:08 to 7:08 at 403 W. Montgomery St.

“Each week there’s a different business sponsor, there’s a different musician who is sponsored by that business,” Chloe Keefe, UCDA marketing coordinator and UCYP committee member, said. “To get in, it’s a $5 cover charge, so anyone that comes will pay $5 to enter. We have a different local non-profit each week that will volunteer and take all of the proceeds from the entry fees.”

The first 100 people in the door will also receive a free drink token.

Keefe noted that two of the Friday events, June 30 and July 21, have altered locations.

“June 30 is the weekend of the party in the park, so we will be having it at McKinley Park instead of at the Elks,” Keefe said. “The non-profit that we’re supporting that week is the Rotary and they’re already going to be there at the park volunteering, so it just made sense to move it that one time. Other than that, July 21st, that week it will be at the Union County Fairgrounds since the fairgrounds is both the business sponsor and the non-profit that we’re supporting.”

Fridays After Five have been a town staple since they first began five years ago, with much support from the Elks and First National Bank.

“In 2019, Kyle Wilson and Ron Higgins and I started brainstorming on what this could look like at the Elks,” UCDA Director Mindy Stalker said. “At First National Bank, Randy Huewe was a big fan of live music so they jumped in as the music sponsor for the first couple of years.”

Stalker explained the event was meant to be something to do before other Friday night plans.

“They can come up and do a happy hour and then go out to eat at one of our establishments and do the rest of the night what you chose,” Stalker said. “We start at 5:08 because our zipcode is 50801, that’s kind of where that came from.”

Stalker is grateful for all the community support, including from the sponsors.

“This has just continued to be a great community event,” Stalker said. “[Elks has] really done a great job of making improvements to their space to make it even more enjoyable to go to. I think it would be pretty tough to continue to do these without their partnership. And of course super thankful to First National Bank for getting this off the ground, and now for many business partners for making this happen.”

Erin Henze

Originally from Wisconsin, Erin is a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point. Outside of writing, she loves to read and travel.