First Thursday kicks off Aug. 5, events to include free vaccinations

2019 photo courtesy Experience Fayetteville

First Thursday will return to the downtown square for the 2021 season at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5.

The free, family-friendly events include an outdoor arts district with visual artists whose work in variety of mediums is on display around the downtown square. The events also include live music, art demonstrations, children’s activities, food trucks and more.

Experience Fayetteville, the city’s tourism bureau, has partnered with Community Clinic’s Mobile Health Unit to offer free Covid-19 vaccinations to attendees ages 12 and up. The unit will be at all three scheduled festivals this year. Community Clinic staff will be on hand to administer the free vaccines and no appointments are needed.

August’s theme is Dog Daze of Summer, so guests are encouraged to bring and enter their dogs in a costume contest on the Adventure Subaru main stage.


This month’s performances will include TheatreSquared’s “American Mariachi” and live music from two Fayetteville-based band – the Ashtyn Barbaree Band and Honey Collective.

A shuttle will travel to ArtVentures, Fenix Arts and Mount Sequoyah Creative Spaces where guests can enjoy additional art programming. Guests can catch the shuttle behind the Experience Fayetteville building at 21 S. Block Ave., underneath the Favoriteville mural. Two separate shuttles will run in a continuous loop during the event, according to a news release.

The event is part of the city’s Outdoor Refreshment Area (ORA) program, meaning beer purchased at the official First Thursday tent can be carried around throughout the entirety of the square and ORA area’s.

Dates and themes for 2021 are:

Aug. 5 – Dog Daze of Summer
Sept. 2 – Tight Knit
Oct. 7 – Light