BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – It has been over a year of traditions being dampened by COVID-19, and that includes ‘First Friday’ at the Bentonville square.
However, the event is kicking off again for the first time since November of 2019 due to the pandemic.
Dana Schlangenhaft with Downtown Bentonville Inc. said while there were other community events that were able to happen over the last year, like the Farmer’s Market, being able to bring back First Friday was extra exciting for many locals.
“This was the big one that I think people have been waiting on,” Schlangenhaft said.
Schlangenhaft said this First Friday will be slightly scaled back this year compared to years past due to safety guidelines. Attendees are encouraged to wear masks and social distance throughout the square.
The community is now also able to get vaccines at the event as well, thanks to Collier Drug and Benton County Emergency Management. The partnership is offering first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccines.
Schlangenhaft said being able to hold First Friday again- even with guidelines in place- is a beacon of hope that normalcy is around the corner.
I think it’s a perception thing. If we’re able to safely get back then hopefully there’s light at the end of the tunnel in this pandemic and we can all start enjoying our downtown the way we used to.”
-DANA SCHLANGENHAFT, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, DOWNTOWN BENTONVILLE INC.
First Friday on May 7th will run from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. and vaccines are offered from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.