On the first Friday of each month of the year, Downtown South Bend hosts “First Fridays.” During the 12 First Fridays celebrations, residents and visitors fill the streets of downtown for live music, movies and other entertainment. Explore South Bend for activities, artist receptions, festivities, and special one-night promotions at different shops, museums and restaurants. First Fridays are fun, family-friendly, and free (or at a reduced admission rate). Each First Friday even has a special theme to make the celebration more festive and enjoyable for all.
2018 FIRST FRIDAYS
1) January 5: PAY IT FORWARD FRIDAY – Participating downtown businesses will be donating a percentage of their sales during this event to the nonprofit of their choice.
2) February 2: FIRE AND ICE – Fireworks, ice carvings, winter restaurant week and potentially bonfires.
3) March 2: DANCE DOWNTOWN – Put on your dancing shoes because, on the first Friday of March, we are going dancing in downtown South Bend.
4) April 6: DOWNTOWN SPRING BREAK – Enjoy spring break in The Bend with music, dancing, and plenty of fun for everyone.
5) May 4: MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU – Who is your favorite Star Wars character—Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, or the hysterically adorable BB-8? Come dressed as your favorite character for special Star Wars-themed fun and activities.
6) June 1: KIDS’ NIGHT OUT – Downtown will be filled with kids activities, including face painters, wagon rides, ROC Ur Body, Family Fun Walk, and more.
7) July 6: CLASSIC DOWNTOWN – Turn back the clocks and check out the classic Studebaker vehicles on display along Michigan Street.
8) August 3: ARTS ALIVE – An Art Beat preview, with Art Walk and some of the Art Beat performing artists giving a preview of this year’s entertainment.
9) September 7: DOG DAYS OF SUMMER – Local rescue groups and animal organizations will have booths.
10) October 5: “FALL” IN LOVE WITH DOWNTOWN – A celebration of Autumn, with pumpkin carving, autumn specials and the third annual Purple Porch Oktoberfest Celebration.
11) November 2: TASTE OF THE TOWN – Restaurants will offer small plates at small prices (Flavor Stops) and a chili cook-off will be taking place as well.
12) December 7: DOWNTOWN FOR THE HOLIDAYS – Santa’s grand arrival to downtown, with a tree lighting ceremony, fireworks, and the opening of Santa’s workshop.