Downtown Inc, the economic development organization for Downtown York, PA, is proud to announce the 2017 for First Fridays, presented by WellSpan Health.
First Fridays are a “Community block party” of sorts from 5-9pm on the First Friday of each month, designed to introduce the York community to all the amenities Downtown: the shops, the restaurants, and the cultural offerings… and for those businesses to showcase their offerings to their community.
“Everyone is invited to attend First Friday in Downtown York when stores, restaurants, galleries and pubs offer extended hours and specials from 5-9pm on the First Friday of every month,” says Meagan Feeser, Chief Marketing and Development Officer for Downtown Inc.
First Friday themes are selected by the Downtown Inc Promotions Committee, which is an all-volunteer committee comprised of Downtown business owners and community members.
Says Feeser, “The First Friday themes are what sets Downtown York’s First Friday events apart from other First Fridays in the area. The themes give our First Fridays a cohesive feel and help guide our Downtown business owners in selecting their activities for the month. The First Friday themes are what make Downtown York’s First Fridays feel like a large community block party, as opposed to random events happening simultaneously in our downtown.”
The themes for 2017 First Fridays, presented by WellSpan Health:
· January 6 - “Flashback Friday"
· February 3 - “Luv-in’ the City”
· March 3 - “March Downtown”
· April 7 - “Tap into Spring”
· May 5 - “Cinco De Mayo”
· June 2 - “Dads and Dudes”
· July 7 - “Made in America”
· August 4 - “Endless Summer”
· September 1 - “Fashion Friday”
· October 6 - “Art-Ober”
· November 3 - “Holiday Open House”
· December 1 - “Light Up York”
First Friday events began in 2005 when Downtown Inc, then named Main Street York, established the tradition. As with most traditions, it took some time to take hold and become established. Those first few years had anywhere from ten to twenty merchants participating. Over the past ten years First Fridays have grown exponentially and today more than 75 downtown shops and restaurants host special events, offer refreshments and promotions, and sponsor live entertainment.
From Weco to the Market District to Royal Square, thousands of visitors to downtown fill the streets, shops and restaurants, participating in the monthly themed activities, enjoying complimentary beer samples from The Beer Ace and Brewery Products and celebrating all that Downtown York has to offer.
Downtown Inc reports that an estimated 46,000 people attended First Friday events in 2016 and that a minimum of $50,000 is spent in Downtown York every First Friday.
“WellSpan Health believes that the City of York is a very special place. Our commitment to the City extends beyond healthcare and public safety to the things that bring people together and make our community a fun, active, vibrant place for people to live, work and play,” says Rick Ayers, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing for WellSpan. “We couldn’t think of a better example than of that than First Friday.”
“WellSpan Health’s support of First Friday extends beyond financial support and providing dollars,” continues Ayers. “We actively participate in the events themselves, from bringing our athletic trainers to teach attendees how to stay active without getting injured to bringing our chef from WellSpan York Hospital to help people understand how to cook and eat more healthfully. WellSpan Health is excited to be an active part of First Fridays.”
Parking is free in York City after 5pm at both parking meters and the three York City garages, making it easy and convenient to join in the First Friday revelry.
First Friday-goers are invited to participate in the fun on social media as well, posting photos and videos with the hashtag #FFYork. Follow along at www.facebook.com/DowntownYorkPa.