July 2, 2021

2019 First Fridays information appears below. 2020 July First Fridays was cancelled due to COVID-19. 2021 information coming soon!

Downtown South Bend will be transformed into a carnival this First Fridays, complete with free carnival games, balloon twisting, face painting, food vendors, and a roaming magician.

Meet Me on the Island will be back for its second installment of the summer, the Architectural Walking Tour will be exploring the West Washington Neighborhood, South Bend Latin Dance will be back in Studebaker Plaza, and the evening will end with fireworks on the Jefferson Bridge.

Plus, as always, enjoy live music, art exhibits, dining specials, and much more. Check out all the details below!


The Jefferson Bridge will be closed from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. for the setup, display, and cleanup of the fireworks show. Michigan Street will also be closed for portions near Washington Street due to the summer construction project.



Parking (on-street and in DTSB-managed garages) is always free in downtown South Bend nights and weekends.  For full details on downtown parking options, click here



As always, Transpo will be offering FREE shuttle rides on one of their new CNG buses from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. Click here for a map of the shuttle route. Transpo shuttle service will pass each stop approximately every 15 minutes.

The shuttle service now has First Fridays Tour Guides! They will tell you all about the different activities and promotions taking place downtown at First Fridays, as well as give general info about the downtown businesses, mixed with historical tidbits and fun facts. Grab a seat on the new First Fridays Transpo Tour, and enjoy the informative ride!

As a special treat, The Music Village Jammers will be performing on the First Fridays shuttle from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Entertainment & Activities

Meet Me on the Island

5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

120 S. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

WVPE and the South Bend Museum of Art team up to put on a series of South Bend's best summer events - Meet Me on the Island. The Island behind Century Center is an amazing place for a party filled with music, food, drink, and fine art. $5 or free to all WVPE and SBMA members (kids 12 & under also free.) "Darryl Buchanan's Soul Motown Allstars" will provide live music. Fireworks will cap off the night at 10:00 p..m, presented by Visit South Bend Mishawaka.

Gridiron Carnival

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


DTSB will be creating a carnival on the Gridiron this First Fridays, with free carnival games and prizes, plus food vendors (see list under "Food & Drink Specials"), a face painter (Behind the Mask) *small fee, a balloon twister (Fun by the Yard) *small fee, and a roving magician. 

Games taking place 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. will include rubber ducky game, sucker tree, ring toss, Bozo bucket game, ring toss, and ping pong ball toss. Games will be free for both kids and adults to play, and free game-play tickets will be available at the DTSB booth.


Additional games will be scheduled at the carnival at the following times:

(Cup)Cake Walk - 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Water Balloon Toss - 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest - 6:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Potato Sack Races - 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Guided Walking Tour of Historic West Washington District 


6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
302 W. Washington St.

We're switching up our normal historic walking tour that takes place during the summer First Fridays. This time we're touring the beautiful West Washington Street area, a National Register District showcasing an exemplary and eclectic blend of architectural styles and structures. Once home to influential citizens, titans of industry, civic leaders, and other prominent families; West Washington Street is now replete with businesses and residents that value and preserve the fine architectural legacy left in their care by those that preceded them.

Tours are given by the Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend & St. Joseph County. Cost for these 90-minute tours are just $4/person (cash only.) Reservations can be made by clicking here or by calling 574-282-1110. This tour will meet at 6:00 p.m. at the historic Ambassadors for Christ Church, 302 W. Washington St. (the southwest corner of Washington and Lafayette.)

Latin Dance Party

8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Studebaker Plaza

South Bend Latin Dance is returning to Studebaker Plaza for the summer for their First Fridays Latin Dance Parties! This event is open to all ages and skill levels, and includes a half-hour lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by open dancing until 11:00 p.m. $5 cover.


Marcus Clingaman at South Bend Chocolate Cafe

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
122 S. Michigan St.

Marcus Clingaman will be performing a free concert at the South Bend Chocolate Cafe from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Also take advantage of their First Fridays special: 2 for $18 any crunch/pretzel combo.

First Fridays Community Bike Rides

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

3419 W. Washington St.

 "Everybody Bikes South Bend" is a new community bike ride event series that takes place in conjunction with First Fridays. These are short rides (5 to 6 miles) at a leisurely pace that the whole family can join in. Guides will lead groups of riders starting at 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, 7:00. There will be a different ride each month, and the July ride will leave from the Charles Black Center. All participants must wear helmets.

Giveaways at NDFCU

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

210 S. Michigan St.

Notre Dame Federal Credit Union will be passing out sunglasses and candy in front of their downtown branch from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Opening Reception at Fire Arts

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

305 E. Colfax Ave.

Fire Arts Inc. invites the public to a retrospective commemorative exhibit of sculpture by local artist Robert Kuntz. This show will be open from July 5 - August 23, with an opening reception on July 5 from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Light Up the Plaza

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Studebaker Plaza

Light Up the Plaza is a chance to show the love & light of Jesus. Enjoy special performances by Just Us Music, Emac the Great, GWP, Patricia Love & Jason Diggs, and more.

Live Music at Chicory Cafe

7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

105 E. Jefferson Blvd.

St. Eve & The Vibe will be performing a free concert at Chicory Cafe from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Also take advantage of Chicory's First Fridays special of 5 oz. gelato cup for $3, and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $6.

Hurricane Reggae Band at Vegetable Buddies

10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

129 N. Michigan St.

Vegetable Buddies will be featuring live music by award-winning Hurricane Reggae Band. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., with performances starting at 10:00 p.m. $10 cover, 21+

Kennedy’s Kitchen at Fiddler’s Hearth

9:00 p.m. to midnight
127 N. Main St.

Enjoy free live music at Fiddler’s Hearth by local Irish band Kennedy’s Kitchen from 9:00 p.m. to midnight every First Fridays!

Tours of the Historic Hoffman Hotel

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
120 W. LaSalle Ave.

The Hoffman Hotel will offer free tours of their renovated historic apartment spaces and free refreshments. The tours will be given every half hour (5:00, 5:30, 6:00, etc.)


Food & Drink Specials

Food Vendors at Gridiron Carnival

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


The best part of any carnival is the food, and there will be a great selection available at the Gridiron Carnival this First Fridays:

All Over Creations: Beignets, Chocolate-covered Cheesecake, Creative Ice Cream Desserts

Fancy Delights: Funnel Cakes, BBQ Rib Tips, Hot Dogs, Brats, Cookies, Chips, Soda

G. Mottl Catering: Bourbon BBQ Rib Tips, Corn on the Cob, Burgers/Cheeseburgers, Brats, All Beef Hot Dogs, Chips, Soda

Kona Ice: Shaved Ice 

Olivet AME: Strawberry Shortcakes & Brownie Delights

Rico Suave: Mexican Cuisine

Waka Dog: Hot Dogs

Chimichurri BBQ

5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

601 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Enjoy an Asado Argentino (BBQ) from the grill on the patio. If you are interested call 574-400-0979 to make reservations.

1/2 Off Dipped Fruit at Edible Arrangements

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

123 S. Michigan St.

Edible Arrangements will have 1/2 off their boxes of dipped fruit (pick-up only) and $1.99 Strawberry/Pineapple Smoothies.

Specials on Retail & Services

Clay Cookie Extravaganza

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

217 S. Michigan St.

The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery will be hosting a Clay Cookie Extravaganza this First Fridays. Bring your mini artists by for $5-$15 projects ready to paint outside! All outside projects are make & take home the same day.

20% off American History Books at Idle Hours

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

212 S. Michigan St.

Take an extra 20% off books on American History at Idle Hours Bookshop this First Fridays.

Friends of the Library Book Sale 

12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
333 S. Michigan St.

The Friends of the Library Book Sale is in their newly renovated space – with extended hours. Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Baker’s Bar & Grill

123 N. St. Joseph St. 
Buy one appetizer, get one 50% off.


713 E. Jefferson Blvd.
$4 pints every First Fridays; also featuring a First Saturdays special each month: any large 2 topping pizza, an order of breadsticks, and a pitcher of pop (or a 2 liter on carry out orders) for only $19.95 plus tax.

Ben’s Pretzels

122 S. Michigan St.
3 pretzels for $10 (not including sauce).


131 S. Michigan St.
Get one 14″ 1-topping pizza for $12

Chicory Cafe

105 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Live music, 5 oz. gelato cup for $3, and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $5

Edible Arrangements

123 S. Michigan St.
50% off a box of dipped fruit (pick-up)

Hair Crafters

602 Lincoln Way East
20% off for new guests and 10% off all retail

South Bend Brew Werks

216 S. Michigan St.
New seasonal beer release

South Bend Chocolate Cafe

122 S. Michigan St.
2 for $18 any crunch/pretzel combo

Tippecanoe Place

620 W. Washington St.
1/2 price appetizers In the Studebaker Lounge 


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