There is no better way to start the weekend than at First Friday in the downtown Las Vegas Arts District!
Drawing thousands for a night out in the lively Arts District, the free outdoor family-friendly First Friday festivities are a combination of art festival and block party, and featuring for sale the work of Las Vegas artists, live music on multiple stages and an array of tempting food options.
As a showcase for hundreds of emerging and established local artists, First Friday is first-and-foremost a celebration of Las Vegas’ burgeoning arts scene that has transformed the area from a mere curiosity to a regional cultural hub. Yet, the economic value of First Friday activities extends far beyond the artists’ booths. The monthly event increases foot traffic and revenues for the area’s growing number of casual and fine dining eateries, bakeries and sweet shops, breweries, nightlife venues and retail outlets.
In addition, long-running popular events like First Friday, along with the robust support of civic and business leaders, have created a strong sense of community that is serving as a lynchpin for attracting an influx of new downtown residents seeking the modern urban lifestyle only available at such downtown Las Vegas loft-style high-rise condominium communities like Juhl on Bonneville Ave.
With the main hub of First Friday activity occurring on Casino Center Blvd. between Colorado St. and California St., First Friday is held the first Friday of every month from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. There’s no formal entrance gate – just look for the multitude of tents and listen for the music. The event is family- and pet-friendly. The event’s theme also changes from month to month, so you’ll experience something new each time you attend.
“While about 94 percent of the 15,000 to 20,000 people who attend each month are locals, more and more tourists are discovering the culture and community beyond the Strip,” said Corey Fagan, who has been executive director of the First Friday Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, since 2019.
Recently, the online publication Off-The-Strip asked a number of First Friday attendees Why Locals in Las Vegas Attend First Friday. It all comes down to a good time among a community of good people! Consider their responses:
“We just moved here and like the authenticity.”
“I love the Arts District. It’s my favorite part of Las Vegas and I like that First Friday is all local artists and that I get to support people that live in my community.”
“Definitely the live music. You never know who you might run into.”
“Because it has very good food and really good people.”
If you’re fortunate enough to be living the downtown Las Vegas dream like residents of Juhl, then First Friday fun is just a brief walk from your front door. But, if you need to drive, you’ll also need to park, and you can reserve a parking spot ahead of time. You can click here to reserve a spot. There is also a park-and-ride option if you park at the Las Vegas parking garage at 500 S. Main Street. Just take the shuttle to and from First Friday. The shuttle runs from 3 p.m. to midnight.
What started out over 20 years ago as a vision among local artists to showcase Las Vegas’ artistic and cultural endeavors, First Friday has come to represent downtown Las Vegas’ evolution as a cultural, social, and business hub where people can live, play, work, and thrive.
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