FIRST FRIDAY – Downtown Billings Alliance

FIRST FRIDAY

The First Friday of Every Month

5 – 8pm

First Fridays in downtown Billings offer the community a monthly glance of the best our downtown has to offer. Downtown shops extend their hours, restaurants feature diverse menu options, local musicians and artists are highlighted, and monthly themes offer a variety of unique, fun experiences for the whole community to enjoy. 

 

First Friday efforts are coordinated by the Downtown Billings Alliance (DBA), a non profit membership based organization whose mission is to boost downtown’s vitality through advocacy, economic development, and special event programming. 

 

Below is the list of First Friday dates and their corresponding themes for 2020.

2020 First Friday Themes

JANUARY 3: FIRE & ICE

It may be chilly outside but warm up with a fun and cozy evening of roasting marshmallows while walking the streets, sipping hot cocoa and enjoy exclusive evening specials and activities at downtown businesses. Ice provided by mother 

FEBRUARY 7: SHARE THE LOVE

FEATURING ARTWALK

February’s First Friday features Art Walk which celebrates the fine art with local and regional artists, art galleries and more. Grab your galentines for a night out downtown. Sip wine, enjoy extended shopping hours, special promotions, culinary delights, and fun activities at many downtown locations.

MARCH 6: READING RAINBOW

March starts off with the late Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and downtown would love to honor the late childhood literary favorite with a variety of reading and literary activities and promotions throughout the evening.  

APRIL 3: EARTH-WISE

FEATURING ARTWALK

April’s First Friday features Art Walk which celebrates the fine art with local and regional artists, art galleries and more. It’s also the 50th anniversary of Earth Month. Come downtown and connect with businesses, growers, restaurants, and brands within our community practicing sustainable earth friendly habits.

MAY 1: LADIES NIGHT

In honor of Mother’s Day downtown will host their ladies night First Friday on May day. Downtown locations will feature exclusive specials and promotions geared toward making moms of all kinda feel extra special.   

JUNE 5: CULTIVATING CULTURE

FEATURING ARTWALK

June’s First Friday features Art Walk which celebrates the fine art with local and regional artists, art galleries and more. A diverse collection of performance artists will be highlighted at various locations downtown. 

JULY 3: AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY PARTY  

Come celebrate America and the long weekend downtown, Play some of your favorite ‘lawn games’ on the sidewalks of downtown and enjoy extended shopping hours, treats, special promotions, and other fun events.

AUGUST 7: END OF SUMMER BLOCK PARTY 

FEATURING ARTWALK

August’s First Friday features Art Walk which celebrates the fine art with local and regional artists, art galleries and more. Soak up the final days of summer with extra downtown activities, exclusive shopping specials, promotions, and summer flavors. 

SEPTEMBER 4: FAMILY FUN NIGHT 

Bring the whole family downtown and enjoy additional kid friendly activities like facepainting and balloon twisting, along with the evenings events & special offers extended from local businesses. 

OCTOBER 2: SCHOOL SPIRIT

FEATURING ARTWALK 

October’s First Friday features Art Walk which celebrates the fine art with local and regional artists, art galleries and more. Show your school (Elementary, High School, or College) spirit and don’t be surprised if you spot a mascot or two high-fiving people on the streets.

 

NOVEMBER 6: GIVE A LITTLE. CHANGE A LOT

Along with extended shopping hours, and First Friday special promotions, Downtown businesses will extend exclusive offers in collaboration with local non-profits organizations.

 

DECEMBER 4: 30th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS STROLL 

FEATURING ARTWALK 

December’s First Friday features the Holiday Art Walk which celebrates the fine art with local and regional artists, at nearly 40 art galleries and downtown locations. The night also consists of the 30th annual Downtown Billings Christmas Stroll, with events beginning at 5pm and throughout the evening until 9pm. The stroll includes various downtown businesses, retail shops, and other activated downtown spaces with extended hours, holiday-centric events, specials, holiday beverages and snacks, and loads of holiday cheer.  

Resources

CURRENT FIRST FRIDAY HAPPENINGS

SIGN YOUR BUSINESS UP TO PARTICIPATE

For the 2019 launch of First Friday, participation will be free. The DBA intends to use 2019 to get an idea of what the actual administrative & marketing expenses look like in order to appropriately assign a bi-annual participation cost. We intend to keep the future participation cost low for our members.

SUBMIT YOUR FIRST FRIDAY PROMOTION

HOW DOES BEING PART OF FIRST FRIDAY HELP MY BUSINESS?

1) The DBA will promote and market First Friday and the submitted events/promotions/activities with social media posts and email marketing. We have partnered with the gazette to have a First Friday section in ‘Enjoy’ that will list the participating businesses and special events happening. The real success of the event will be up to the commitment of participating businesses to be consistent and offer events, promotions specials.

2) We believe in the value of working with your other downtown neighbors to enhance the downtown experience. The DBA stands behind the concept of ‘abundance breeds abundance’. Meaning when First Friday falls in conjunction with an ArtWalk, Burn the Point, Magic City Blues, or any other event hosted downtown it will only enhance and increase the downtown activity as a whole because it offers a variety of options to draw more of the community to downtown.

CAN I PARTICIPATE IN BOTH ARTWALK & FIRST FRIDAY?

You bet ya! ArtWalk is an amazing member driven event that falls on the first Friday of every other month (6 times a year). The community looks forward to the opportunity to mingle and explore local and regional artists at various locations downtown promoted by the ArtWalk organization. The ArtWalk has been around for many years and has a wonderful momentum and following that participants really benefit from. For more information about ArtWalk email .

First Friday happens 12 months a year. and is not your typical traditional event format, as it’s not located in a specific footprint. First Friday happens at ALL participating locations and the DBA will market and promote each location while also add little fun enhancements to draw more people downtown for the night. So being a part of both can only increase the amount of people your business is marketed to and interact with in a variety of ways.