After a year of careful planning and consideration for economic growth, a First Friday steering committee has ignited an interest in the Lewis-Clark Valley with a renewed mission of highlighting local businesses.
The First Friday steering committee, a coalition of local business owners, is bringing the monthly event to encourage tourists and residents to support restaurants, retailers, and other establishments.
On the first Friday of every month, businesses are primarily encouraged to extend their business hours from 5-8. Other suggestions would be to host a mini art gallery, provide musical entertainment or have exclusive deals for shoppers.
“We want to hyperfocus on encouraging locals and tourists alike to eat, shop and discover what our valley has to offer,” said Brenda Morgan, the Executive Director of Beautiful Downtown Lewiston, a nationally recognized main street program.
The First Friday steering committee is comprised of Tobe Finch of Happy Day Restaurants, Deb Zenner with DZ Designs, and Brenda Barnes with Business Connections by Brenda. This group has been visiting businesses in hopes to share the excitement that First Fridays can bring to our valley, starting with our downtown corridor. There is no charge or fee for a business to participate.
Finch said “This is a collaboration of all businesses to build up downtown’s commerce. It gives businesses an opportunity to be discovered and rediscovered. Barnes agreed with Tobe Finch by saying “Every time we walk the length of Main Street, we learn of new products, services, and even food choice selections. The street truly comes ALIVE during First Fridays.”
Although there may be some musicians and artists in the downtown area, Morgan said First Fridays won’t serve as a “normal” event. The focus will be on bringing recognition and foot traffic to businesses. She added that some of the deals businesses may offer will help complement some of the other events that occur downtown throughout the year.
Although Beautiful Downtown Lewiston is not the driving force behind this monthly event, the organization is a big supporter of the steering committee’s efforts. “We [BDL] understand that it ‘takes a village’ and we want to provide as much support to those who are willing to put in the time and effort to make this a successful event,” said Morgan.
The first event in 2023 was held on Friday, February 3rd with over 20 businesses registered. If you are a business that is interested in participating, you can find all the information on the website here: