Everything you want to know about First Friday! Did we miss your question? Reach out directly through our Contact Us page.
Q: What is First Friday anyways?
A: First Friday is a celebration throughout Leonardtown, primarily in the Downtown area but also with some businesses in other areas participating as well. Shops and galleries stay open late, offering new shows and special attractions. The community is invited to explore everything that the Downtown Arts & Entertainment District (and beyond) has to offer.
Q: Is there a charge to attend First Friday?
A: First Friday is always free! Our generous sponsors (Marrick Homes, Quality Built Homes, and Winegardner Motor Company) as well as membership dues from the Leonardtown Business Association financially support the event such as paying for the bands for the Music Series, advertising costs, and other related fees. We also rely on support from our wonderful volunteers to help w/ the logistics of hosting these events and some of our musicians donate their time, all of which help us to keep this a free event.
Q: Are children welcome at First Friday?
A: Yes! Several of our First Fridays are geared towards children and families such as our March Youth Art Month featuring an art contest through the St. Mary’s County Arts Council, the annual “Where’s Crabby?” scavenger hunt in June, and most other months have specific children’s activities incorporated. See our Facebook page for details.
Q: Can I bring my dog to First Friday?
A: Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome on The Square and in most shops, although it is best to ask the shop owner if he or she is comfortable with your four-legged companion. Some shops and restaurants display “Pet-Friendly” designated door signs as well.
For your convenience, there is a “poop-bag” station by the Town Map and small park area on Washington Street, to the left of the Fuzzy Farmers Market. Many businesses put water bowls outside their doors – a good sign that they’re happy to welcome you both.
Q: Where do I park for First Friday?
A: There is usually plenty of parking along Washington Street and Fenwick Street. There is also public parking off Washington Street between The Hair Company and the Front Porch and off Park Avenue across from The Good Earth Natural Foods Company, as well as numerous spaces on the streets and adjacent neighborhoods. Some shops have parking spots available specifically for their customers.
Q: What about food?
A: We have lots of terrific restaurants and eateries in Leonardtown. Depending on your mood, you can get something to go or enjoy a sit-down dining experience. Some places have an option where you may place your order to go (call in advance if you like and it can be there waiting for you!), and just pick it up then go listen to the band on The Square – a perfect picnic! We also have shops which offer ice cream, smoothies, coffee, and snack type foods.
Q: Is there outside seating when there’s a band?
A: There is lots of space on the grassy area of The Square as well as a few benches. Some restaurants such as Dos Amigos and The Rex offer outdoor seating which where you can both see and hear the musicians. Please feel free to bring your own chairs and/or blanket for use on The Square or in the adjacent street area (for events in which the streets are closed off).
Q: When and where is the Drum Circle?
A: As of April 2017 we added an audience participation Drum Circle with the SoMar Drummers, hosted by St. Mary’s County Arts Council at 22660 Washington St., 2nd floor (across from Winegardner Motor Co. in the Leonardtown Arts Center building). All ages and skill levels are welcome for the drumming sessions. The SoMar Drummers provide the instruments although you may bring your own percussion instruments if you have them.
Most sessions will be held indoors, when weather permits they will meet outdoors at the grassy area in front of the Arts Council building. Come and go as you like for these informal jam sessions.