First Friday, that downtown moving party that encourages locals to roam from shop to shop in search stickers, treats and—yes—purchases, is going monthly.
Every other month since December, Los Altos Forward has organized themed Friday night activities around downtown, from to a May Flowers treasure hunt through participating stores.
Now merchants have convinced them it needs to be every month. So beginning this Friday, and through the end of the year it will truly be First Fridays, each and every month.
"We believe that it will be even more successful if we do it regularly so the community could count on it," said Joe Eyre, who is responsible for organizing the themed events.
Those first, First Friday nights have set the streets of downtown abuzz with activity. Musicians performed from the front of shops and restaurants. Non-profit groups set up tables. Children's activities were available. And people thronged the stores.
Los Altos Forward, a group that has been working to inject greater vitality into the downtown scene, had put a lot of work into themes every other month. Now, merchants will organize the "other" Fridays, without the themes, but with activities in stores and sweets. Los Altos Forward will continue to coordinate, promote, and provide music. On the "other" Fridays, Los Altos Forward will also organize a themed activity, Eyre said.
Eyre credits Nature Gallery owner Carol Garston with pushing for First Fridays to go every month.
"Carol is really 'all in' for Los Altos and she has a number of ideas for improving business for all of downtown, not just her store only," Eyre said.
"This is a trial, but we think if we get enough momentum, we are confident that the First Friday will be a self-perpetuating, fun and community-building evening for residents of our city and surrounding cities and one that will also become profitable for the merchants."
Over 20 downtown Los Altos stores and galleries will be open until 8pm the evening of June 1 st.
Many of them will be hosting complimentary sweets and several will offer interesting events in their stores. Some of these in-store events include:
- Apricot Lane will be provide a “Complimentary Color and Style Consultation featuring their Fresh Picked Stella & Dot Summer Jewelry Collection,” said Naida Ergas, Marketing Project Manager for the store.
- The “Passport to Adventure” summer reading and travel program will be introduced by LindenTree book store that evening.
- From 6-8pm, Nature Gallery will be hosting Kai Chope, gem & flower teacher. Kai will present her Cocreatis Collection of Gem and flower essences & essential oils, Garston said, and will explain how these products can enhance Chi energy.Nature Gallery specializes in minerals, fossils and jewelry since 1987.
2012 First Friday Schedule
July 6: Los Altos Forward First Friday
Aug 3: Merchants (movie night)
Sep 7: Merchants
Oct 5: Los Altos Forward
Nov 2: Merchants
Dec 7: Los Altos Forward
Merchants who will participating the evening of June 1st include: , , Apricot Lane, , Bubble Kids, , , , , American Cancer Society; , , , , , (on Main St.), , , Paperwhirl, , Serafino Fine Art Gallery (164 Main),