First Friday to feature block party in Springfield


HOW TO GO

What: First Friday Fountain Avenue Block Party

Where: Fountain Avenue and downtown Springfield

When: Friday, 5 to 10 p.m.

Admission: Free

More info: www.facebook.com/events/916467058480279/

Several downtown Fountain Avenue business owners actually want you outside their stores as well as in them on Friday. That’s the best way to enjoy a block party.

The First Friday Fountain Avenue Block Party will from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday when the downtown street will be blocked off to allow food and merchandise trucks, entertainment and vendors to continue the monthly First Friday tradition in a fresh way.

“There’s a lot of great things happening downtown and we thought this would get more people exposed to them,” said Doug Klang of Bada Bing! Pizzeria, one of several participating businesses.

First Fridays, held the first Friday evening of each month, has been a downtown mainstay for several years and had been organized by the Springfield Center City Association, which disbanded earlier this year.

Klang and other downtown business owners kept it going, but recently noticed a drop-off in attendance. This is an attempt to make it thrive again at a grass roots level.

“We’d hate to see it die on the vine, so we thought we’d give it a kick in those pants,” he said.

Vendors will include offerings from arts and crafts to information booths promoted by various organizations. Trucks will offer a variety of food and merchandise.

A map and information on some vendors is available at

Bada Bing! will have live music inside from Bubba and the Gumps and 3 Piece Suit will perform at the Hub Gallery. DJs will provide music outside.

Participants won’t be limited to just Fountain Avenue businesses, but a few others as well.

The long-term goal of the events is community awareness. If Friday’s event is successful they plan on doing block parties in September and October as well.

“I think it’s duplicable monthly,” he said. “This is just the start of something big. Keep your eyes open for downtown.”

Portions of Fountain Avenue will be closed from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday.