State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

First Friday Celebrates Its First Birthday

by on June 06, 2015 6:00 AM

One year ago, First Friday came to State College.

The idea wasn't novel. In fact, it existed in towns across America, aiming to celebrate on the first Friday of each month.

This month marked the first anniversary of First Friday in State College, a birthday for the Downtown Improvement District's effort to bring more residents downtown. 

In order to celebrate the birthday, State College mayor Elizabeth Goreham stuck a cake knife into some frosting marked with the First Friday logo, handing out birthday cake to children on Beaver Avenue.

"I think they're gaining steam," Goreham says of First Friday. "People are becoming more aware of coming downtown for the first Friday of every month. I think the Downtown Improvement District has really gone out of their way creating interesting events. It's terrific."

The event brings musicians, artists, and more downtown for entertainment purposes. Businesses hold special deals for First Friday, encouraging people to head downtown to dine and soak in the monthly celebration. No matter what type of music or performance art you like, there's something happening downtown that fits the bill.

"It's a great event," says Sean Trainor, a State College resident. "It brings people together. There are businesses I've gone into and tried their products that I never would have tried otherwise. It brings me into stores I never would have gone into. You just see people you know around the community and it's a wonderful event."

First Friday hasn't been around long in State College, but it's already becoming a staple of the town that people look forward to each month. Goreham says she thinks the celebration is here to stay, and is excited for what the future holds.

"It reminds people of how much there is to do here in State College and in their community," she says. "Friday is that time when the week is finally over and you want to do something to celebrate and hang out. It's light but it's fun. You always see somebody you know. I think this embodies a lot of the things that we want to have more regularly in town."

As for Trainor, as long as First Friday continues, he'll make his way downtown to take advantage of what it has to offer.

"I definitely hope to see the tradition continue," he says.


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Zach Berger is the managing editor of He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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