First Friday now boasts 4,000 to 6,000 patrons each week, bringing in significant foot traffic for downtown businesses and tax revenue for the city of Bentonville.
Friday nights in Bentonville got more entertaining when the First Friday festival launched in 2008.
It’s not unusual now to see a street performer juggling fire torches atop a 6-foot unicycle on North Main Street, while a jazz trio plays across the courtyard on Northeast A, and a clown performs magic tricks in the children’s area nearby.
Once a month between March and November, the city square is blocked off from 4 to 8 p.m. and transformed into a mecca of family entertainment, complete with free live music, craft vendors, food trucks, bouncy houses and carriage rides.
Families turn out for the fun, but First Friday means much more than that to the community, if you ask Andy Green, director of productions for Downtown Bentonville Inc.
Green estimates, based on head counts, that... [ MORE ]