Like everything else in life, First Friday will look different in 2020.

Sunrise Theater’s First Friday concerts traditionally attract thousands to NW Broad Street in front of the theater in Southern Pines. The theater’s First Bank Stage at Sunrise Square has been the perfect home for the outdoor event which runs May through October and features great bands, food trucks, Southern Pines Brewery beer, and Sunrise concessions.

Local businesses wait their turn to sponsor a monthly event while Nikki Bowman and Realty World Properties of the Pines holds the coveted premier position as the season sponsor.  First Fridays are the leading fundraiser for the theater which relies on the event to pay the bills throughout the year.

Following the governor’s announcement last week, the First Friday Committee officially canceled the season opener set for May 1. 

“We all volunteer because of our love for First Friday and the Sunrise,” said Rick Noyes, First Friday Committee Chairman.  “First Friday does so much to finance the wonderful programs the theater offers throughout the year. This is our opportunity to show our support for this unique piece of our community.”

While the all-volunteer committee is disappointed that May’s First Friday has been canceled, the team is committed to keeping the event alive.

“We know First Friday is going to look a lot different this season but are hoping to keep that community togetherness feel,” said Kira Schoenfelder, Sunrise Preservation Group Board Member and First Friday Committee Social Media Coordinator. “We’re grateful that social media will allow us to reach people easily, from the comfort and safety of their homes.”

Kira encourages everyone to follow First Friday and the Sunrise Theater on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with changes and announcements.

The loss of revenue will have an immense impact on the historic Sunrise Theater. And since the event also spills over to the shops, bars, and restaurants in the area, these businesses will also feel the impact during a time that is already financially challenging.

Still, sponsors have stood by the Sunrise and continue to support the event, however it is redefined.

“Our sponsors are the best,” said Cathleen Jones, First Friday Committee Sponsor Coordinator. “We are thankful for all the support of our community, and especially our sponsors, as we all weather the Covid-19 unknowns together.”

In addition to Realty World Properties of the Pines, this year’s sponsors include Karma Spa Beauty Bar, Pinehurst Surgical Clinic Women’s Care Center, and RitualX.

The First Friday Committee is committed to adapting during these challenging times. The season has already been extended to include November, and the team continues to explore live streaming opportunities.

“The Sunrise depends on the support of First Fridays,” stated Rick.

“The community looks forward to a summer of live music, meeting up with friends, delicious food, and enjoying a beer,” added Kira. 

“We all look forward to returning to the fun and camaraderie of First Fridays at the Sunrise,” said Cathleen.

For more information on the Sunrise Theater or First Friday events, go to, email [email protected], or follow both on Facebook and Instagram.


Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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