Why Locals in Las Vegas Attend First Friday

Five festival attendees share their opinions about the monthly downtown fair

First Friday—a Las Vegas-based non-profit organization—is “Down for Anything” this February. On February 3 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., the downtown area transformed into an arts and food festival. Every month, this free event brings the community together in the Arts District to support local artists, makers, culinarians, musicians and more. For February 2023, the City of Las Vegas showcased its latest multi-media campaign that illuminates the diversity and inclusivity embraced by the town. More than 40 passionate influencers, business professionals and community leaders are involved in this initiative.

The event included: a Lion Dance by the Lohan School of Shaolin, Bohemian Boro (a glass blowing collective), a “Down for Anything” stationary mobile billboard with campaign videos and merchandise, an art walk, performances by rapper Lit Reeezy, food trucks, art galleries and more.

Off The Strip interviewed five First Friday participants about why they go to the event, what elements they enjoy, and what they wish to see at future downtown arts festivals.

Far left Michelle, Mia and the rest of their tribe eating vegan food and supporting local artists

Michelle and Mia

Why did you want to come to First Friday?

Michelle: It’s my favorite part of Vegas. I love the Arts District. I love this because it’s not the Strip. It’s not glitz, glam and feathers and stupid sh*t.

Which elements of First Friday do you like the most and why?

Michelle: I like that it’s all local artists and that I get to support people that live in my community.

Mia: I think the variety and authenticity. My family and I are new here. We’re from D.C.

Where do you like to hangout in the downtown area and why?

Michelle: Tacotarian. I’m vegan, so I love all the vegan options. I love going to Velveteen Rabbit [and] all the local businesses to support people in my community.

What would you like to see more of next at the First Friday event?

Michelle: Tables, chairs and someone cleaning up the tables. I mean look at all those people gathered around with nowhere to sit. The food is so awesome, but it’s hard to eat it [without anywhere to sit].

Luis Vazquez promoting shows for Vegas Theatre Company

Luis Vazquez

Why did you want to participate in First Friday?

I just came from the community I found here at Vegas Theatre Company. I just wanted to help them out by yelling at people [to come watch the shows].

What elements of First Friday do you like the most and why?

The elements that I like the most are the variety and the craziness you’ll get here because you never know what you’re going to see either at the Vegas Theatre Company or walking around the [event].

What would you like to see more of at First Friday events?

I would like to see cheaper food and more accessible bathrooms.

Gary and Piper enjoying the local food and music

Gary and Piper

Why did you both want to come to First Friday?

Gary: Because it has very good food and really good people that interview us.

What food have you both enjoyed tonight?

Gary: We had teriyaki on a stick and chili cheese fries.

Besides the food, what elements of First Friday do you like the most and why?

Gary: Probably the live music. You never know who you might run into.

What’s a spot downtown where you both like to hangout?

Gary: At the top of my list is Cornish Pasty.

Piper: We love Cornish Pasty. We’ve been going there for two years.

What would you like to see more of at First Friday events?

Gary: If we are talking about in the winter, then more heaters.

Piper: Yes, more heaters. The locals are so cold.

Interviews have been edited for clarity and length.

To learn more about this local monthly event visit https://www.ffflv.org/.

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