First Friday draws Saints downtown

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First Friday draws Saints downtown

Seniors Mariana Galindo and Shannon Belknap pose in front of a mural.

Seniors Mariana Galindo and Shannon Belknap pose in front of a mural.

Seniors Mariana Galindo and Shannon Belknap pose in front of a mural.

Seniors Mariana Galindo and Shannon Belknap pose in front of a mural.

Jenna Glovsky, Staff Writer

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First Friday, an art and music festival in downtown Phoenix, is the place to be every month on the first Friday of the month.

This festival has become increasingly popular with Notre Dame students.  It is a great way to spend a Friday night with friends, for food and for free entertainment.  The upcoming dates are this Friday, March 3 and Friday, April 7.  Make sure to keep it in mind when planning your weekend activities.  

Seniors Payton Shipley and Mariana Galindo smile in front of a colorful mural.

This festival consists of free entry into numerous art museums, art galleries, street performers, small goods for sale and food trucks.  The main street for this festival is Roosevelt Row, and a map for the whole festival can be found at the Phoenix Art Museum or on the website.  

Senior Shannon Belknap said that she would definitely recommend attending this festival.  She calls it “fun, but a little crazy.”  Her overall experience at this festival was a good one, and she said she plans to attend again soon.  

Belknap said when she attempted to go into the museums, it was too crowded, so she instead spent most of her time on the main street enjoying the art and music performances.  

There are free trolley rides from the Artlink First Friday trolley that make it easy to see all the museums and acts in one night.  The trolleys run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., stopping at each hub at 25-minute intervals.

Belknap said she decided against using the trolley system to get around because she “doesn’t mind walking.”

For those planning to go, she said to “remember where you park because it’s easy to get lost.”  This large festival is easy to get turned around in. Anyone attending would do well to get a map.

This is one of the many huge murals found at First Friday. Photo: Cassidy Mannier

Peyton Shipley, a senior who just recently started to dabble in fine arts, attended the First Friday Festival for the first time in January and said she enjoyed her experience.  She said that she decided her senior year to give art a shot, taking both painting and guitar classes at NDP, and has been happy with her decision.

Shipley said that First Friday was a good way to see all the culture of Arizona. 

Walking through the main street one can see graffiti murals on the walls.  Both Belknap and Shipley said that this was their favorite parts.  

Shipley described the murals: “They took up the whole walls!”  She said that everyone could benefit from going to this festival because there is so much diversity.

A different perspective is from senior Sydney Gebhart who said that she did not enjoy her experience earlier this year.  She referred to the festival as a whole saying, “It was not worth my time.”

The main reason for Gebhart’s disappointment is because it was extremely crowded.  She added the drive from her house all the way to Phoenix was too far for an event.  

“The people were not entertaining, and it smelt bad,” she said, adding, “There were only heavy metal rock bands.”

My experience was a different one.

After visiting the First Friday festival in February, my conclusion is that it was a great showcase of Arizona’s culture and talent.  I had an amazing time with a group of friends and would highly recommend NDP students to check it out in the coming months.

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