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Busy First Friday kicks off downtown holiday season

Published on

Cathy Dobson 

On First Friday the Coffee Culture will be filled with the music of Erika Sit and Sara Campbell, aka Erika and Sara.

The duo have a new single out, “Roulette Wheel” which was recorded at 1092 Studios in Nashville and released on Spotify and iTunes Nov. 13.

“It’s doing really well,” said Erika. “We’re really happy about it.”

The single follows their first album that came out in 2013 just as they went on the road with Emm Gryner for a short Ontario tour.

That record, A Long Road Ahead, was put together quickly so they could sell it during the tour, said Erika who sings lead vocals.

She and Sara grew up in Petrolia and have been friends for many years, In fact, at one point Sara, 23, was a babysitter of Erika, 20, and her younger siblings.

“My father was pushing me to sing and she played guitar, so we got together six years ago,” Erika explains.

The collaboration includes frequent live performances, original songwriting and a lot of country-rock cover tunes.

Two summers ago the pair began performing with Sarnia’s Scott Vegh on bass, and Gerry Hawley on drums.  All four will be at Coffee Culture on Friday, Dec. 4.

“We’ll get a feel for what the crowd wants and likely do a combination of our covers and original songs,” said Erika.

Covers pay tribute to a range of artists such as Johnny Cash, Guns n’ Roses, Cold Play and Aerosmith.

December’s First Friday Cultural Walkabout promises to be a busy one.

The Sarnia Lambton Arts Council is sponsoring hayrides from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. starting from the Lawrence House at the corner of Wellington and Christina.

The wagon will make various stops for Christmas-oriented fun including Nutella hot chocolate at Under Wraps Café, roasted chestnuts at Artopia and live entertainment, Mediterranean treats and refreshments at Maran Fashions.

The Lawrence House itself is hosting a “Wrap It Up” sale with wine and apple cider drinks.

At 140 North Christina St., The Painted Cat Studio in the former Taylor’s Furniture store is presenting a group of new and emerging artists, designers and micro-manufacturers from the local area.

Desserts, live music and a wide selection of gifts for sale will be available on the mezzanine. Artists are Stashbug, My Little Ginger, Sabryna Brooks, Cara Herbstreit, Cakebook and Hekkla Valley Farms.

Other First Friday attractions include a Blackmore & Blackmore concert and exhibition by artist W. A. (Bill) Walters at the Cheeky Monkey, 130 Christina St. North,

That Dirty Racket plays at Liquid Johnny’s at 117 Christina, and a holiday’s vendor sale in at Memorable Moments at 148 Front St. North. Starting at 4 p.m., as many as 30 local vendors will be selling jewelry, artwork, crafts and women’s clothing.

Memorable Moments owner Ashley Tanguay says there will be free coffee and hot cocoa.

Other First Friday events had not been announced by press time. However, it’s a safe bet the Christmas edition will kick-start the holiday season downtown.

After all, St. Nick arrives with the Kinsmen Christmas parade on Saturday night beginning at 6 p.m.

The Arts Journal welcomes all story ideas related to Sarnia’s cultural community. Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.

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