If you’re into art, live music, and street food vendors, you’ll want to check out First Friday. First Friday is a monthly community event that takes places in downtown Las Vegas, where artists, performers, and vendors gather to kick off the start of every month. It takes place in and around the Arts District, and goes from around 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. It’s mostly an outdoor event, but certain businesses in and around the area stay open to accommodate the thousands of people that attend First Friday every month.
I’ve been going to First Friday, off and on, for the last ten years. It’s a fun way to spend a Friday night and relatively cheap – provided you can find decent parking. It’s also gotten much smaller as the years have gone on, but First Friday remains near and dear to the Las Vegas art community.
If you’ve never been to First Friday, below are some things you should know before you go:
Get there early if you want decent parking. The parking lots fill up fast, so if you want to get a good parking spot, show up early. The longer you wait, the more likely you’ll have only expensive lots or dark side streets to use. If you do end up in one of the dark side streets, park under a street light and take caution with anything valuable. It is a fun, free event, but the surrounding area can get a little dangerous.
Bring plenty of cash. The food trucks and vendors only take cash, and there’s only one or two ATMs available inside the whole event. Some of the artists are equipped to take cards, but I wouldn’t rely on it.
The bathroom situation is not ideal. There are portable stalls and bathrooms available inside the Arts Factory, but the stalls are a little gross and you’ll have a long wait inside the Arts Factory.
Seating is limited, especially near the food trucks. The street vendors do set up a handful of tables, but availability is first come, first served.
Branch out. When you’re done perusing the booths at First Friday, head over to Main Street and see what they’ve got going on over there. Some of the restaurants and bars stay open to accommodate First Friday attendees, like Makers & Finders or Casa Don Juan.