Old City, Philadelphia, is celebrating 25 years of First Fridays. The event, which has galleries and other artistic venues open late the first Friday of every month, was created in 1991.
The Old City Arts Association, an organization made up of local gallery owners, came together to figure out a way to bring more people into the neighborhood.
According to co-owner and director of the Larry Becker Contemporary Art Gallery Heidi Nivling, Old City used to be an empty place that was primarily occupied by artists. The artists had trouble bringing in enough customers.
The idea was modeled after Seattle’s First Thursday’s when galleries all over that city held special events and stayed open late. Old City Arts Association member Jimmy Clark sought to replicate it here.
The event is now credited with reviving the Old City neighborhood and it making it a popular spot for residents and businesses.
Over the years, First Fridays has grown to include more vendors and events. Attendees can visit one of the many galleries the neighborhood has to offer as well as the area’s various restaurants and bars.
The event runs from 5-9 p.m., rain or shine.