Heroes, history, food and fun
● By Steven Hoffman
What’s big enough to bring together the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe?
Oxford’s Comics & Heroes First Friday event, of course.
On the warm spring evening, there were plenty of unusual sights in downtown Oxford: A classic Batmobile was parked on Third Street, right outside the Maroon Hornet Comics & Collectibles. Bane was seen roaming the streets of Oxford, but the costumed heroes—Dr. Strange, Wonder Woman, and Groot among them—greatly outnumbered the villains. A team of Ghostbusters, along with the Ecto car, were stationed on Locust Street. Attendees were invited to wear costumes of their favorite characters, with the best one winning a downtown Oxford gift card.
Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. (OMI) leads the effort to plan the First Friday events, and was responsible for bringing both the Batmobile and The Ghostbusters to the event. Randy and Lori Grace, the owners of the Maroon Hornet, helped with some of the other comics-themed activities.
A large crowd turned out for the fun—OMI executive director Brian Wenzka said that they estimated that about 4,000 people were in town during the course of the evening. They got to enjoy food at La Sicilia and the Sawmill Grille or beverages at Flickerwood Wine Cellars and the Bog Turtle Brewery. Many of the shops in the downtown were open late. The Comics & Heroes theme and a variety of children’s activities throughout the downtown made the event fun for all ages.
“This is a great family night,” Wenzka said. “The kids love the heroes and the costumes, but the adults are into it as well. We’re very pleased with the crowd.”
The theme of the next Oxford First Friday, on June 1, is “Under the Boardwalk,” and Oxford Mainstreet Inc. is planning a variety of beach-related activities and games. The First Friday will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.