You’ll never forget your first First Friday. See Saugerties as never before on Friday, July 6 starting at 6 p.m., when the streets will come alive with art, libation, music, shopping and more. “First Friday” is a term for a monthly event held by various cities and villages across the US: an opportunity for galleries, restaurants and other businesses to stay open late, and for pedestrians to stroll the streets, see and be seen, availing themselves of free samples, live entertainment and special discounts.
This will be the first of many First Fridays for Saugerties, said Diane Dwyer of Imogen Holloway Gallery, which features abstract and unusual contemporary art. The Gallery opened in May, and Dwyer soon became interested in joining forces with the Partition Street Wine Shop, which held First Friday wine-tastings. “They’re the forerunner,” said Dwyer. “I opened a gallery in May and decided, wine and art: It was kind of a natural fit, and the event just ballooned. The business community in Saugerties is so enthusiastic, neighborly and friendly; it just naturally turned into an event where everyone wanted to participate.”
Participating businesses will include the Partition Street Wine Shop, the Imogen Holloway Gallery, Lucky Chocolates, Dry Goods, Juda Leah, Rock Star Rodeo, the Marleau Gallery, Light House, Dig, the Dutch Ale House, Steamship Alice Studio and Green. Cue, Miss Lucy’s Kitchen, the Dutch Ale House and Fez will be serving their Friday fare till 10 a.m., and the Pig will keep its kitchen open till midnight.
“Saugerties is a great town, where scrappy meets sophisticated,” said Dwyer. “It’s so easy to walk around; it’s jam-packed with stores, and six or seven or eight new ones opened this spring. It seems like a really good moment for something like this.”
Discover the new kids on the block and visit all your long-term loves. Antique, book and clothing stores will prop open their doors for leisurely nighttime browsing. Galleries will host art openings with artists’ receptions; there will be at least one store grand opening with bubbly and surprises. Listen for bands in unusual venues, quaff spirit and microbrew samples and check out the fashion show, cheese-tasting and more. It promises to be a one-of-a-kind event, with the people on the streets adding their own funky flair to the evening tableau.
Those who need to take a load off at any point can avail themselves of this year’s public art installation: “Sittin’ around Saugerties,” featuring 40 full-sized wooden garden chairs painted by local artists scattered along the sidewalk. For dessert, take a dip in Lucky Chocolate’s free chocolate fountain. Dip potato chips and strawberries – or go bold and crunch on a chocolate-covered cornichon. “Saugerties is kind of quirky,” said Rae Stang, owner of Lucky Chocolates. “For a first-timer, it would be a very varied and fun visit, where you get to eat a lot of things, see a lot of things, maybe buy something and have a lot of fun.”
For more information on the July 6th First Friday festivities on Main and Partition Streets in Saugerties, call (347) 387-3212 or e-mail Diane Dwyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rae Stang at email@example.com. The event begins at 6 p.m.