First Friday Las Vegas is a monthly art, entertainment, and food galore held in Downtown Las Vegas on the first Friday of each month!
Since 2002, it’s been a staple event every month, helping develop the Downtown Las Vegas culture. The main area of this street fair is on the intersection of Casino Center Drive and Colorado Avenue in the Arts District. The event starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m.! With art, food trucks, and live entertainment, experiencing First Friday is a must for locals and tourists alike!
First Friday is big on art and prides itself on celebrating the local Las Vegas artists by showcasing their work and featuring different artists every month. There are plenty of art vendors as well as live paintings happening, so not only do you have a chance to buy art, you get a chance to witness it being made! Art prints, large canvases, t-shirts, and crystals are some of items you can buy here, and many of the local businesses like antique shops open later for the night! You’ll also find large murals all over that make for a great photo op, and keep your eyes where you’re walking as well! There are hidden messages all over the streets.
There are so many food trucks available to try at First Friday and you can always expect something different as the lineup changes every month. You can choose from sliders, tacos, hot dogs, pizza, nachos, BBQ, chicken wings, falafels, lobster rolls, and more savory options, and you can also indulge your sweet tooth by trying out the funnel cakes, dole whips, deep fried cookies, and cotton candy! Beer and wine is also available for purchase throughout different beverage tents, and heads up—most of the food trucks don’t sell water. You’ll have to visit a beverage tent to get one!
There are plenty of DJs and local bands that play all over First Friday! Even notable bands like Brumby have played here, and they’ve opened for the prominent Las Vegas band, Imagine Dragons. You’ll find all genres of music playing, from techno, rock, hip hop, and salsa. Street performers can be found at every corner as well, and some of them even encourage you to join in and sing with them!
First Friday is a free event, but prepare to bring your wallet because you won’t be able to resist the food vendors and art vendors that are there. You want to remember to bring cash because most places don’t accept cards. ATMs will be available.
Many of the streets downtown are blocked off during First Friday for safety reasons so you’ll need to find parking elsewhere.
Street parking: There is plenty of street parking if you come early enough (again, the event starts at 5 p.m.), but you’re parking at your own risk if you choose this option! You want to make sure that the spot you choose has no restrictions throughout the night or you might get towed. There’s usually street parking from the Stratosphere to Fremont Street.
Free parking: There are empty parking lots where businesses work out of during the day and are empty at night, and many locals park in those areas, but again, you run the risk of getting towed, so be cautious! One free parking option is by the Mingo’s lounge downtown; it’s always free.
Parking lots: Plenty of hotel parking lots offer parking but the price ranges from $10 up to park for the night. The El Cortez Lot on 7th St. and Ogden Avenue is usually free, but with special occasions like First Friday, they charge $5 and up. If you park at the Stratosphere they have a shuttle service to the festival if you choose to park there. Just keep in mind, the festival might be a good walk away if you choose to park at these lots.
If you don’t want to worry about the hassle of parking or walking long distances, take an Uber or Lyft! That’s what a lot of people choose to do.
First Friday is a great event to experience as a tourist! Many locals come out to celebrate First Friday so you really feel the community bond when you go. The Downtown Las Vegas culture is blossoming so take part in it! You won’t want to miss out.