First Friday in York is always buzzing, but this Independence Day edition is going to be especially so. DIY flower crown kits? Live music? Art? Yes, obviously, and a whole ton more. (Plan accordingly – as is tradition, North Beaver Street will be shut down 4:30-9 p.m.; East King will be inaccessible from 6-9 p.m.) If you’re running short on fun time or want to be sure to hit the highlights, here’s the do-not-miss list. This time, it’s broken down by area.
To do: First and foremost, check the Beer Ace‘s lawn games on North Beaver Street. Have a ball. Pretend you’re eight years old, since the plethora of booze opportunities might reduce you to that state in a few hours anyway. Maybe take some photos and tag them in ’em on Instagram. (Did you know the Beer Ace has an Instagram now? Yeah. They do.) Check out the exhibitors all along North Beaver Street and throughout the District – the Rooted Artist Collective, in particular, has a rad lineup. At 4 p.m., they’re opening an exhibition appropriately called “Independence” that will feature local artists. From 6-9 p.m., they’ll host a free ice cream bar, complete with photobooth. Be sure to bask in Markus Beigel’s tunes live on the street as you stroll by. Lotus Moon Yoga‘s boutique will have live sitar and violin playing, face-painting and body henna, as well as a nifty sale from 5-9 p.m. Finally, it’d be remiss to not mention Foster’s Flower Shop, where you can purchase a DIY Flower Crown Kit. (What? It’s still festival season, dude.) Foster’s, like several other stores, will also have samples courtesy of the Beer Ace, which brings you handily into the drinking portion of your walkabout.
To drink: Hit up those samples at Foster’s, for sure – they’ll have Deschutes Black Butte, Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA, and Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale. The White Rose Bar and Grill is hosting their half-off happy hour with drink and food specials from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and they’ll have an Evolution Craft Brewing Company sampling from 8-10 p.m. You could always hit the Holy Hound Taproom, where they just added the ever-popular Lagunitas IPA on tap. Finally, maybe it’s not alcoholic, but stop by Cherie Anne Designs (48 West Philadelphia Street) for a thoroughly patriotic red, white, or blue drink from 5-9 p.m.
To eat: Soul Burrito‘s famous food truck will be in the Market District. Considering they sold out at Celebrate Lancaster a week ago, you’re definitely going to want to try a few of their concoctions before they’re all gone. Hit up the York City Pretzel Company, where they’re having a pretzel dog-eating contest. (What’s more American than challenging a bunch of strangers and neighbors to shove more food in their face than you can?) That competition is at 6:30 p.m., and the challenge is to essentially eat as many pretzel dogs in 5 minutes as you can physically manage. As if the sheer opportunity to, theoretically, eat unlimited pretzel dogs for five entire minutes isn’t enough, the winner will take home with them a $100 York City Pretzel Company giftcard.
To do: If you’re feeling super-duper patriotic, go make a red, white, and blue tye-dye t-shirt at Prime Art Supply Co. on East King. That’ll only cost you $10, which, honestly, is really a bargain for that amount of nostalgia, ya filthy hippie. Finally, the King’s Courtyard Artist’s Collective is having its third birthday and you’re invited to the party, which will run from 6-10 p.m. The schedule promises a poetry reading by Carla Christopher, door prizes, and food and cake.
To drink: First, both of these are galleries, which you ought to be visiting anyway for the culture and the expansion of your own feeble mind and not just because they’re having beer tastings. That said, there’s no shame in expanding your taste buds while you’re there, right? Be sure to hit up the HIVE Artspace. Their July exhibit is made entirely of repurposed, recycled, found, and otherwise untraditional materials – it’s called “found collected assembled.” It doesn’t hurt that they’ll have free patriotic gifts for the first 25 people in the gallery. Finally, they are indeed hosting a craft beer sampling courtesy of The Beer Ace. In addition, Studio117 will be offering a beer sampling as well as karaoke, which makes for a truly radical combination.
To eat: Well, there are going to be some super-snazzy dessert trucks along East King, so if you had any plans on eating sensibly this evening, there they go. Savory Pumpkin’s Funnel Cakes is on the lineup, as is Lancaster-based Sugar Whipped and Mojoe Kool. Kiss your waistline and wallet goodbye before you head over. If you insist upon staying healthy, stop by Redeux for their fruit bar. Killjoy.
To do: Visit the super-cool independent used book and curio store, The York Emporium, from 10 a.m-6 p.m. Browse the shelves, check out the weird and wonderful wares, chat with the ever-helpful employees, expand the ol’ grey matter a bit. If you are on a date, have some adventurous friends, or are just up to learn some new dance steps, head on over to the York Social Dance Studio, where they have complimentary beginner lessons from 8:30-9:15 p.m. if you need ’em (hint: you probably need ’em), and their official Friday Swing Dance from 9:15p.m.-12 a.m. Admission to that dance is $7 for the general public and $5 for college kids. You get $1 off if you show the nice folks running the dance a business card from another local York business, so be sure to pick one up on your travels.
To drink: Stop by the Waterway Bar & Grill (220 West Philadelphia Street) from 2-8 p.m. Your first drink will be free. While you’re there, enjoy a little light music – Chasing the Day will be there performing, starting at 5:30p.m. This duo, formed by Katie and Dave Zienkiewicz (of Radius and The Bullet Method, respectively) will be doing covers of rock and pop songs throughout the ages.
To eat: Mosey on down to the York Blue Moon, which recently updated its already-fabulous menu, and enjoy a buy-one-get-one-free deal on its delectable appetizers. Stumped on all those choices? You can’t go wrong with the barbecue shrimp (which comes with garlic bread, so it’s almost like a double appetizer) and the truffle garlic fries – but hey, you’re your own person. If you go with that appetizer combo, though, you might as well get the fabulous Key Lime Martini on the rocks.
Vodka Key lime flavoring goes excellently with garlic, after all.
What’s on your agenda for First Friday in York? Tell us below.