By Ariel Rose
As Bend's art and music scenes continue to grow, the businesses in the budding Central District have teamed up to give new flavor to a well-worn Bend tradition: First Friday. The Central District has remained true to its roots and continues to be a hot spot in town for local businesses, makers, artisans, and otherwise off the beaten path demographics. The energy was high on Friday night, and, after talking to many of the people that showed up, they were excited to escape the busy, bustling summer sidewalks of downtown for a space that encouraged you to pull up a chair, pour a pint, and stay for a while.
Solo artist, Ryan Nelson, and The Bucklys, played music under the lights on Open Space's patio while pedestrians perused local artisan booths sipping a curated selection of Pacific Northwest beers, wines, ciders, and kombucha. Miranda Kelton, a local photographer who showcased her work, said she was excited to hear about the call to artists at Open Space and to join the event. "When I first came to town, there wasn't anything like it," she said. "I'm excited to see how the BCD First Friday grows." June L. Park Art & In Stitches by Sara, both local artists, also had booths set up and enjoyed the change of pace. As the event grows, Open Space hopes to offer a monthly haven for all flavors of creators to showcase their talents.
The Central District First Friday's goal is simple: to become an extension of the already well-loved local tradition. The hope is to breathe new life into this forgotten block of Bend's history, re-purpose it's buildings, and bring a new creative and economic era to its concrete. This event is open to everyone, and we especially want to offer a platform to support new and upcoming creators in Bend that haven't been given a space to voice themselves yet. Open Space will continue to host music and artisans every First Friday, so if you or someone you know, is interested in setting up shop with us on First Friday (or any other day, for that matter!), reach out to email@example.com. For a complete list of the businesses participating in the Central District First Friday event & to stay up to date on all of its happenings, follow @bendcentraldistrictfirstfriday on Instagram.