Downtown Inc Adds New Continental Square Programming for First Fridays Presented by WellSpan Health

First Friday programming will expand to Continental Square starting in May.

First Friday programming will expand to Continental Square starting in May.


YORK, PA  – Downtown Inc will add new programming to Continental Square during 2018 First Fridays presented by WellSpan Health, expanding the popular monthly celebration to another key sector of Downtown York.

“First Fridays in York draw thousands of visitors to our downtown and create a sense of vibrancy for our community,” said Silas Chamberlin, Chief Executive Officer of Downtown Inc, the City of York’s downtown improvement organization. “They also draw customers to our great small business community and cultural attractions.”

First Fridays originated with a small group of merchants in Central Market and on nearby streets. It has grown into a downtown-wide event with dozens of participating businesses.  

In recent years, participation in First Fridays has grown exponentially. In warm weather months, Downtown York sees on average an additional 8,000 visitors, a figure projected to grow in coming years.

In response to this growth, Downtown Inc in 2018 will focus on adding programming, such as live music, performances, arts and crafts, and vendors, to historic Continental Square from May to November.

“Our goal is to activate a space that is underutilized during First Fridays and encourage visitors to circulate between the various parts of the downtown during their visit,” Chamberlin said. “This approach allows us to continue offering high-quality programming, while allocating our resources as equitably as possible across the downtown business community.”

Presenting Sponsor WellSpan Health is excited about the opportunity to bring programming to Continental Square and expand the reach of First Fridays.

“WellSpan Health is proud to enter this fourth year of partnership with Downtown Inc to present First Fridays,” says Rick Ayers, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing for WellSpan. “We look forward to the event’s continued growth and hope that these enhancements will bring even more of our friends and neighbors downtown in 2018.”

Downtown Inc will continue to assist merchant groups and individual businesses with promotional activities throughout the downtown. The organization plans to make at least $12,000 available to individual businesses to support programming and promotional activities and has reserved up to $3,600 to cover the expenses of street closures organized by merchants groups in WeCo, Royal Square and the Market District.

While Continental Square programming will not begin until May 2018, First Fridays will continue as regularly scheduled on the first Friday of each month. The next First Friday is scheduled for February 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Details can be found at

Merchants and vendors seeking additional information about programming grants, street closure assistance and other First Friday information can contact Downtown Inc Marketing & Events Coordinator Stacy McClain by phone at 717-849-2331 or email at They can also visit for more information.


First Fridays in Downtown York are a celebration of downtown shops, restaurants, cultural venues and nightlife hotspots presented by WellSpan Health in partnership with Downtown Inc. First Fridays are held the first Friday of every month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Downtown Inc is THE organization working to drive, enhance and encourage investment in York’s central business district through economic development, promotions, placemaking and public safety. Downtown Inc is the trade name for a joint venture between the York Business Improvement District Authority and Main Street York, a 501(c)(3) not for profit. Visit for more information.


Andrew Staub, Marketing & Communications Manager, Downtown Inc,, 717.849.2331

Silas Chamberlin, Chief Executive Officer, Downtown Inc,, 717.849.2331