Join the First Friday downtown party


Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.

Enjoy a block party with live music, a car show, a high heels fashion show, vendor booths and more while also helping a Gainesville charity at First Friday in downtown Gainesville.

Facts

FIRST FRIDAY

What: First Friday, with free and discounted food and a block party.
When: June 7; 5-10 p.m. for activities; 5-8 p.m. for block party.
Where: Downtown Gainesville.
Cost: Free, but $20-$25 for VIP wristband.
Information: Call 352-538-4364 or visit http://firstfridaygainesville.com/.

All you need is a free passport to receive discounted food and beverages, and, if you desire, a VIP wristband — $20 online at http://firstfridaygainesville.com or $25 at the event — for free food and beverages, carriage rides and valet parking.

First Friday, which is held the first Friday of each month, will take place from 5-10 p.m. June 7 in downtown Gainesville. A block party will be held from 5-8 p.m. on SW 1st Avenue between Main St. and SW 1st Street and will feature live music, a High Heels Fashion Show, a Hot Wheels Car Show and vendor booths.

First Friday is sponsored by the Pledge 5 Foundation, a non-profit organization that conducts food, clothing, toy and blood drives and also pet adoption and public service pledge drives for charity partners.

“This will be our first block party,” said Jason Bowman, director of the Pledge 5 Foundation. “Come and enjoy a car show and show off your high heels, hear great music and do fun things with your friends in the downtown district.”

Bowman said First Friday also ties in with a charity. Participants are asked to donate specific items each month. In June, the theme will be High Heels & Hot Wheels and participants are being asked to donate new or slightly used shoes.

This is how it works: Free passports, which are stamped at participating merchants, are good for discounted food, beverages and $5 raffle tickets. The passports are available from 5-10 p.m. at the Opera House between Lillian’s Music Store and Harry’s Seafood, Bar, and Grille. The raffle takes place at 10 p.m., also in front of the Opera House. VIP wristband purchasers also will get a passport to be stamped at participating merchants, but will not have to pay the $5 to enter the raffle. Prizes, which are donated by participating merchants, include such items as cruises for two, gift cards, and other items.

Below is the First Friday schedule — with charity drives — for the rest of the year:

— July 5, Gainesvegas: Casino games, such as poker and roulette, and an art supply drive.

— Aug. 2, Dog Days of Summer: Dog activities and treats, with a pet supply drive.

— Sept. 6, Blues, Brews, Booze, & BBQs: Barbecue competition, with a pledge to buy local.

— Oct. 4, Swamptoberfest: Oktoberfest celebration, with a laundry detergent drive.

— Nov. 1, Go Gators: Sports themed activities, with a sporting equipment drive.

— Dec. 6, Holiday Lights: Best holiday decorations contest and a winter theme, with a toy drive.

Bowman said First Friday usually draws about 500 residents.

“There is something for everyone to do,” Bowman said. “Downtown Gainesville is a great place to celebrate with your friends.”

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