Carbondale’s First Friday returns to real life May 7
First Friday in Carbondale on May 7 will also serve as the first public gathering in Garfield County since the state relaxed COVID-19 restrictions, but the event’s planners are keeping cognizant of the virus regardless.
“It will be quieter because we’re really encouraging people to enjoy, but to keep walking, if you will,” said Andrea Stewart, executive director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re really trying to avoid gathering of large groups.”
Main Street will be closed to traffic between Third and Fourth streets from 4:30-10:30 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday, allowing for expanded capacity for outdoor dining while social distancing.
Stewart doesn’t expect this year’s First Fridays to be the same as previous years, but the chance to see the community come together safely is one she appreciates immensely.
“It will be the first time we see our greater community, so we will be mindful that we are still in this pandemic,” Stewart said. “But we’re really doing what we can to come together in a socially distanced sense. We’re excited for new beginnings.”
Carbondale Arts Gallery Manager Brian Colley said the First Friday in May ushers spring and summer, with live local musicians providing ongoing entertainment for folks as they mingle between the restaurants and bars that line Main Street.
“The Main street is more geared towards restaurants and bars,” Colley said.
“There’s all kinds of people, kids on bikes and families walking around.”
Those who are still uncomfortable dining out can still carry out.
“It’s just a great opportunity for people to come out, see one another. It’s really important to stress the social distancing,” Stewart said.
Debbie Fadli, director designer at Roadside Gallery on Main Street in Carbondale, said she and her photographer will be directing foot traffic as casually and kindly as possible.
“We have a pretty big gallery here and never really have a tight crowd. Me and the photographer will be here to make sure folks are maintaining a distance,” Fadli said.
Fadli said she’d happily start chatting it up with folks outside the gallery doors while they briefly wait for others to exit the space.
“We are going to have $20 fine art tote bags to bring in the spring and summer season,” Fadli added.
Fadli said she’s excited for First Friday, a tradition she’s participated in for over a decade.
Larry Yazzie, a Champion Fancy Dancer and founder of Native Pride Dancers, will provide live flute music while performing traditional indigenous song and dance.
Stewart said Yazzie performed at the Carbondate Arts event in February, which was very well received by the community.
“What a way to celebrate these new beginnings for him to provide this healing performance,” Stewart said.
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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