Celebrate local artists plus participating shops & restaurants at one or more First Friday events around the Indianapolis Metro area. Enjoy a block party with your closest friends and small business owners each First Friday of the month!
What is a First Friday??
First Friday events vary from locale to locale, but for the most part they are a way for local small business owners to showcase their shops alongside local artists. Some events are more like a low-key art exhibit or gallery opening for up-and-coming artists to both present and sell their art. Other events seek to breathe life into their neighborhoods with street performances and sales, later open hours for small businesses and local restaurants, and concerts. Often, participating businesses host give-aways or promo sales to encourage new people to discover their shops. It’s really a great way to shop local and intermingle with your neighbors.
In the current climate, many of these events had been canceled over the summer and are just getting restarted this fall. Of course, there will be some shops still requiring masks and social distancing as much as possible. But overall, First Fridays are really just a great way to meet your neighborhood shop owners and artists, grab some tasty food, and… maybe get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping?!
We’ve created a short list of a few of our favorite First Fridays around the Indy area along with one we just learned was starting!
First Fridays are an EXCELLENT way for you to re-introduce yourself to shopping local! Consider stopping by any of these events for a great Friday date-night or a way to mingle with other locals seeking to support our neighbors and friends. After all… We’re all in this together. Let’s prevent any more local businesses from closing their doors permanently.
Newest First Fridays – Bargersville!
The Town of Bargersville (located approx. 10mi south of Greenwood) is getting pumped to host their inaugural First Friday event!! Local artists and shop owners have all pitched in to make it a special kick-off to a (hopefully) on-going tradition.
First Fridays in Bargersville is the brainchild of Dianna Porter of the amazing Portal Unlimited Art Studio! She has coordinated with several of the other small businesses and local restaurants in the town center to create a fun evening for locals and visitors alike. We are VERY excited for this southside First Friday! (Can you tell??)
The Daily Journal published a full article detailing the event and providing a TON of local business spotlights!
On Friday night, merchants in Bargersville envision crowds of people strolling along the town’s new downtown trail on a perfect autumn evening.
They’ll be able to check out paintings, sculptures and other art created by local residents at Hope Gallery, see artist Dianna Porter in person making art in real time, and discover spa, salon and yoga services at Bargersville Wellness.
Treasure troves of boutique clothing, upcycled furniture and chic antiques await at Pump House, while rustic decor and one-of-a-kind artwork fill the Shoppe’.
The Hope Gallery, in addition to showcasing the work in the boutique and featuring special sales, will be doing hands-on activities where people can make their own shadowboxes or bracelets, and take them with them.
Friday nights are a popular time in Bargersville, as diners head out to nearby Taxman Brewing, Johnson’s BBQ Shack or Bargersville Bar & Grill for dinner and drinks.
The hope is to catch the attention of people who are already coming downtown, and possibly give people who weren’t planning on it a reason to stop in, Porter said.
What: First Fridays in the Town of Bargersville
When: 6p – 9p
Where: 10 Plumber St, Bargersville, IN 46106
First Fridays – Fountain Square, Indianapolis
This First Friday event is one of our favorites!! The Fountain Square neighborhood boasts a First Friday artist exposition at The Murphy Arts Center and a concert at the HiFi annex. This month features over 11 artists and a concert by Arlo McKinley with Rich Henderson and their eclectic soulful, Americana style. Check out more about all of the performers and get advance tickets HERE. But it generally doesn’t “end” with a showcase of amazing local artists & a band, there are street performances, amazing food, local shops open late (with amazing owners ON SITE), and a general feeling of community coming together. It’s infectious!! (BRING $$, you can thank us later!)
Here’s what The Murphy Arts Center has posted for their October 2nd, 2020 First Friday:
Please join us Friday October for a socially distanced art walk.
There will be a small area of the inside open, featuring four artists and one vendor, as well as music and art along Virginia Avenue and the back of the Murphy along St. Patrick’s street.
Weather permitting; it will be a sort of “farmers market” for local art. Masks will be required inside and requested outside and we will be monitoring the amount of people in the building to allow for a safe environment.
As always, there will be lots of art for sale, so bring your money and your generosity and support our marvelous local Indy artists and makers.
What: First Fridays at Fountain Square
When: 6p – 9p every first Friday of the month
Where: Fountain Square neighborhood (We recommend starting at 1043 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis)
First Fridays – Nickel Plate Arts, Noblesville
Nickel Plate Arts district in Noblesville really knows how to do First Fridays right! Their website really says it best… “Enjoy refreshments, live music, great art, and a cash bar featuring beer and wine from local producers.”
Here’s what Nickel Plate Arts has posted for their October 2nd, 2020 First Friday:
Our October exhibit, “Graphic & Novel: A celebration of the graphic arts,” holds up vital forms of artistry like illustration, graphic design, and printmaking, just in time for Nickel Plate Arts popular “Comic Book In A Day” program. Please join us at our opening reception on Friday, Oct 2nd from 6:00–9:00 p.m. We will celebrate our artists with live music, refreshments, and drinks.
View this stunning, thought-provoking exhibit in our Judge Stone House gallery, enjoy a drink from the cash bar, snack on a variety of refreshments, then stroll over to our Stephenson House gallery for a special showcase of art by Christine Merchent. Enjoy live music from Zach Day.
After stopping by the Nickel Plate Arts to check out this month’s new art exhibit, stroll through Noblesville Main Street for the First Friday event: Music and All That Jazz!!
An established musician, composer and educator, Peter Luttrull has been performing in Indianapolis for several years. Luttrull’s playing and compositions are a unique blend of his own artistic expression and the jazz tradition. Listeners will find Luttrull’s fusion of tradition and personal expression familiar, compelling and engaging. Peter will be joined by some of Indy’s finest rhythm section musicians.
What: First Fridays at Nickel Plate Arts & Noblesville Main Street
When: 6p – 9p every first Friday of the month (music on Main St starts at 7p)
Where: 107 S. 8th St. & 839 Conner St., Noblesville, IN 46060
First Fridays – Cruise-In, Danville
Because marveling over cool cars is an American tradition!! Danville hosts a First Friday Cruise In (normally) at the Hendricks County Courthouse square every First Friday June through October. The Indy Hi-Winders Car Club sponsors the event and has a marvelous time doing it.
Danville is one of our favorite “small towns” in Central Indiana. This cruise-in is one of the many reasons why!
Stroll the streets around the Courthouse Square in Danville, IN every FIRST FRIDAY June thru October. Cool cars from antique, classic, vintage and muscle are on display for this FREE cruise-in.
What: First Fridays Cruise In
When: 5p – 9p
Where: 1 Courthouse Square, Danville, IN 46122 NOTE!! RELOCATION for OCT 2 –> Ellis Park, Danville, IN
First Fridays – Food Truck Festival
One of our foodie favorites is the First Fridays Food Truck Festival held in the parking lot of Old National Centre. They would have multiple of Indy’s finest food trucks, live music, and more. Unfortunately, the 2020 season basically didn’t happen. But we are SO looking forward to the amazing food Indy food trucks present May through October of 2021! We’ll be keeping a close watch on their Facebook page for updates!!
What: Food Truck Festival
When: (canceled until further noticed – generally First Fridays May – Oct.)
Where: Old National Centre parking lot, Downtown Indy
NOT a First Friday – Carmel Arts & Design District
Carmel Arts & Design District opted to host “Second Saturdays” that they call Meet Me on Main. Essentially, these events are similar to other area First Fridays, but in this case, you don’t have to decide between this and another! They’re on a completely different weekend!!
Enjoy face painting, side-walk art sales, and local shops open late. Check out more details for the next one HERE.