Spring is here, and that means its time for Fayetteville’s favorite art festival to return to the square.
Of course, we’re talking about First Thursday, the monthly celebration of art, music, food, and more held on the first Thursday of each month in the spring, summer, and fall in Fayetteville.
This year, the Fayetteville Town Center staff is taking over operations of the event from the Fayetteville Visitors Bureau, and the new management promises to bring back all the things folks love about what has become one of Fayetteville’s signature events, as well as add some new things to look forward to each month.
The first event of the year, set for Thursday, April 7, is scheduled inside the Fayetteville Town Center in hopes of avoiding the weather-related cancellations that plagued the event last year.
The inaugural First Thursday will have a carnival theme, with performances from Biz The Clown, juggler/magician/comedian Kitty Chaos, and juggler Peter Irish. A re-vamped kid zone will feature face painters, games, a photo booth, a caricaturist, and other kid-friendly activities by Kids Unlimited LEarning Academy.
The beer garden will feature local brews by Ozark and Columbus House, and food vendors include Tully’s Trickdilly Taco, and Bliss Cupcake Cafe.
After the April event, future First Thursdays will be back outside around the square.
The beer garden will be back on Town Center Plaza this year, organizers say, and the stage will be set up across Mountain Street on the inside of the square facing the Town Center so that beer garden patrons will be able to see the music.
“By focusing the activities to a more concise area we hope to really boost the party atmosphere,” said Sandra Bennett, Operations Administrator of the Fayetteville Town Center. “Our goal this year is to highlight the music, promote the downtown businesses, and have fun activities for everyone to enjoy.”
Musical headliners this season include Smokey and the Mirror, The Silver Shakers and Leah & the Mojo Doctors.
The art walk, featuring dozens of painters, photographers, crafters, and more, will be back as a focal point of the event as well.
As always, the art alleries in the neighborhood including Fayetteville Underground and Matt Miller Studio also expect to have art openings to coincide with the fun on the square.
For more information about the event, visit firstthursdayfayetteville.com.