Issue 30pulse

For the First, It’s the Best

By Noel Daniel

The First Friday Street Faire is an evening pop-up outdoor event that features our marvelous downtown restaurants and businesses who are ready to start your weekend right. There are finger-licking food options, local makers, and vendors who curate vintage apparel and smaller vintage household goods.

“We want to feature local creatives who are ready to bring their goods to our local population,” said Stephanie Foster Burtch. “We consider a few different factors when choosing vendors such as quality, aesthetic, and affordability. We want pop-up vendors to be successful and to be supported by their neighboring creatives as well as all of the customers who are coming through to see what the local scene has to offer.”

When Burtch joined the First Friday Street Faire team, she saw it as a summery family event with the downtown backdrop. Those two things in and of itself are the makings of a good event, she thought. After a couple years tending to her own project, Craft Grab, she saw an opportunity to marry the two pop-ups and provide an even larger venue to the greater family of makers and vintage-lovers that had welcomed her in and shown her that we have astonishingly superb talent right here in the Valley.

“When creatives are supported and are able to sell their goods, they often get into production mode, which can be really beneficial to an artist because she gets all of these ideas down and made into tangible things and then that makes room in her mind for new, fresh ideas,” said Burtch. “It’s great practice for entrepreneurs and also adds to the downtown environment because people begin to remember that there really is a scene there to entertain all of the senses.”

They’ve had a rotating cast of 30 or so vendors with approximately 2,000 visitors coming through. People have been flooding Instagram with the treasures they picked up at First Fridays. And Burtch says she hears from friends who snacked on a delicious fresh fruit bowl from shops like Rodin Farmers Market and have expressed their delight that they’ve discovered something new downtown.

There’s also Music in the Plaza, which does a fantastic job of providing the entertainment of a new live band every Friday and their company is vastly appreciated at the event.

“People come out just for Music in the Plaza, but I have seen a few gift bags tucked under some of those portable lawn chairs and that really makes me happy for our vendors as well as for the customer,” said Burtch, “because I know they’re bringing home something special.”

For more information about the First Friday Street Faire, or to keep up with other great downtown events, visit

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