Anyone not going out of town for the Clemson game this weekend can take a 10-minute road trip to Downtown Bryan to explore the free live music and hyper-local food and shopping that First Friday always has on tap.
Hosted by the Downtown Bryan Association, First Friday runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., with most businesses staying open late while offering sales and food or drink specials. During this free, monthly event, the sidewalks in the historic district will be dotted with musicians, and a section of streets is closed to traffic for games and activities.
“First Friday is a signature event here in Bryan,” said Hannah Hernandez, events coordinator for the Downtown Bryan Association. “There is live music that fill the streets and nonprofits that come out and promote their organization.”
From craft breweries to coffee shops to one-of-a-kind restaurants, First Friday makes it easy for students to get a walking tour of all Downtown Bryan has to offer, bringing new customers to shops and restaurants, Hernandez said.
“During First Friday, we get a pretty good mix of families and students,” said Zach Thetford, manager and bartender at RX Pizza and Bar. “It’s a lively environment. We get busy around five and stay that way until about midnight.”
To avoid waiting, Thetford recommends arriving at 5 p.m. However, anyone can get placed on the waiting list and still walk around and enjoy First Friday because RX Pizza and Bar will send a text when the table is ready.
There is plenty of parking in Downtown Bryan, said Hernandez, with free on-street parking and additional parking in the Roy Kelly Parking Garage near 26th street. The garage is free for the first hour and $1 every hour after, she said.
One of the nonprofits that will be at First Friday this month is Voices for Children, a local advocacy center for children in foster care. Starting at 8 p.m., Voices for Children will be sponsoring a showing of “Shazam!” at the Queen Theater with tickets selling for $5. Advance purchase at QueenBryanTX.com is recommended as First Friday showings usually sell out, Hernandez said.
“‘Shazam!’ is a movie about a foster child who becomes a superhero with his foster family,” said Lindsey Woods, director of development at Voices for Children. “This is the last superhero movie of the summer that we are showing at the Queen, leading up to our Super Hero Fun Run.”
More information about First Friday activities, is available at DowntownBryan.com.