5th Avenue celebrates Christmas
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:58 p.m.
Children living in the historic NW 5th Avenue area could take home a couple of bicycles and meet with Santa at a Christmas celebration organized by businesses in the community.
What: A Christmas celebration for children living in the historic NW 5th Avenue neighborhood.
When: 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Tot Lot next to 2 Friends Coffee Shop at 1001 NW 5th Ave.
Information: Call 352-226-8727.
Spearheaded by Isaac Jones, co-owner of 2 Friends Coffee Shop located in the White & Jones Commercial Building, the Christmas celebration will be held from 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Tot Lot adjacent to the coffee shop and across the street from the building that once houed Mom's Kitchen.
Jones said the event will target toddlers to 15 year olds who live in the 5th Avenue neighborhood. He also said food will be served and there will be music, arts and crafts and a toy giveaway.
And, by the way, Santa will make an appearance to find out who has been naughty or nice.
"We are also hoping to have a drawing for a girl and a boy bike to be given away," Jones said.
All of the businesses along NW 5th Avenue — from Ruby's A Great Place to Eat at 302 NW 5th Ave. to Mr. Goodbike at 425 NW 13th St. — are participating in the celebration. Jones said the celebration will mark the beginning of a partnership between the businesses.
Johnny Moore Sr., who operates Ruby's with his wife, Ruby Moore, and son, Johnny Moore Jr., said he is thrilled to be a part of the celebration. He said his entire family might not be able to make it to the celebration because of a prior commitment, but he said at least one of them will be there to show that Ruby's is 100 percent supportive of the celebration.
Moore said when he was approached by Jones to be a part of the celebration, he thought it was a good idea. He also said all of the businesses involved believe that the best way to revitalize 5th Avenue into the vibrant business district it was decades ago is to educate the younger generation about the history of the street.
"We all agree that we must invest something back into 5th Avenue because it is a major vein in the history of Gainesville, and not just black Gainesville," Moore said. "We figured let's start with the children. This is something that we wholeheartedly support."
Jones said the businesses also are in the initial stages of forming a 5th Avenue business association, and he said plans for the Christmas celebration next year will include having a parade on 5th Avenue.
Jones said he and his business partner, Albert White, made a pact long ago to make a difference in the community they remember as being very vibrant when they were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s.
"We brought this building 30 years ago and are finally getting a chance to pull the 5th Avenue business community together," Jones said.
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