First Friday is not just a day on the calendar, but a movement in many cities and towns nationwide meant to celebrate diversity and inclusion through community connections.
First Fridays have gained popularity in nearby communities like Plattsburgh, Albany, and Rochester.
Saranac Lake saw this as an opportunity to enrich the relationship with our neighbors, nearby residents in the Tri-Lakes, visitors, our school community, and to better engage college students at North Country Community College and Paul Smith’s College. Our businesses can help be spaces of welcoming and belonging that cultivate interaction between members of our community who otherwise don’t interact as often. In creating a more welcoming business community, we create opportunities for both more clients and employees by fostering the kind of town that people want to live and spend time in.
So what is a First Friday celebration?
Well, in different communities it looks a little different. In Saranac Lake it is a collaboration between Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Adirondack Diversity Initiative, Main Street Exchange, Paul Smith’s College, and North Country Community College, along with participating businesses and organizations, in a community-wide celebration in our downtown. It is full of live music, food and drink specials, activities, and retail discounts. It is a community coming together in a shared effort to create a welcoming, accessible, and safe space for all people. It is a way to support local businesses, enjoy cultural experiences, and fit in some social interaction. It is a decidedly different experience!
Saranac Lake kicked off their inaugural First Friday on September 2nd, with great success! It is hoped that this event will continue to grow and turn into a regular event that locals, students, and visitors alike can look forward to each month. The event will continue monthly on the first Friday, as the name suggests. Business participation and attractions are anticipated to change month-to-month to keep the event fresh and new! You can pick up your event map to explore, shop, and eat & drink your way through Saranac Lake’s vibrant downtown.
For more information about Saranac Lake First Friday visit www.slareachamber.org/firstfriday or call (518) 891-1990.