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Backyard BBQ

Friday, July 5. 2024

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

Hamburgers in Grill


Join us for the July First Fridays, where the theme will be "Backyard BBQ." We are celebrating the simple joys of summer - picnics, BBQ, time outdoors with friends and family, live music, yard games, and more!


We will be closing the 100 of S. Michigan for our First Fridays Block Party with dining in the street, a free concert by the Phat Tuesday Dixieland Band, vendors and more. Plus the 2nd Annual BBQ Cook-off!


Live music can also be found at Stockroom East, Merrimans' Playhouse, Fiddler's Hearth, Ironhand Wine Bar, LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern, Chicory, and Fridays by the Fountain.

On the Gridiron we will have free face painting, a caricature artist, and drop-in yard games.

 Additionally, South Bend Bike Garage will be providing a free Bike Valet at Key Bank Plaza, plus Architectural Walking Tours, Movies at the Morris, and more!

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



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

Entertainment and Activities


First Fridays Block Party

100 Block of S. Michigan St.

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

DTSB will be bringing back the Michigan Street First Fridays Block Party for a 5th year, and closing down the 100 block of S. Michigan Street (between Washington & Jefferson) for vendors, entertainment, outdoor dining, and more! These First Fridays block parties take place May through October and are open to visitors of all ages.

Grab some takeout from your favorite downtown eatery or grab something from one of our food vendors and head to the block party where we will have a seating area in the street, vendors, and free entertainment.

For the July First Fridays we will have a free concert by the Phat Tuesday Dixieland Band from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and a special preview performance of Vibes Music Fest at 5:00 p.m.

Various Locations throughout downtown

5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

We are excited to partner with First Student, Inc. to bring back a FREE First Fridays shuttle to connect all of the amazing activities happening throughout downtown on First Fridays. CLICK HERE for shuttle map.

Freeze Pops, BBQ Voting, & Game at DTSB Booth

Block Party

5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Stop by the DTSB booth for free freeze pops and our sucker tree game! Plus place your vote for your favorite BBQ vendor in our 2nd Annual First Fridays BBQ Cook-off!

DTSB 4th of July Photo Op

217 S. Michigan St.

now through July 7

DTSB has set up a 4th of July Photo Op outside their offices at 217 S. Michigan St. Use #DTSBLove and share your photos! Special thanks to Ambassador Dan for bringing this beautiful photo op to life!

625 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Doors - 7:00 p.m.; Show - 8:00 p.m.

Stockroom East's inaugural Celebrate Your Independents night featuring a trio of their favorite up-and-coming local acts: The Weekend Run Club (melodic indie dance-pop), The Erly (rootsy jazz-rock/indie-groove) and Stay Nameless (power-pop/punk). Continue the beautiful midwest holiday weekend by celebrating and supporting the indie acts that are making our music scene increasingly remarkable! Plus - Franky's Tacos will be there from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.!

Tickets are just $12 and can be purchased at this link.

Howard Park

6:30 pm. to  8:30 p.m.

VPA will be hosting free concerts in Howard Park this summer on First Fridays May through October (excluding September.)  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair or blanket and carryout from a downtown eatery for a picnic in the park set to music! The July 5 band will be The Resurrection Blues Band.­

435 S. Michigan St.

8:00 p.m. to midnight

The Rocki Button will be featuring an Open Mic hosted by Toast from 8:00 p.m. to midnight, plus BBQ by G. Mottl Catering with ribs, burgers, and brats. 

Jon Hunt Plaza

11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Fridays by Fountain is a free outdoor lunchtime concert series, which takes place between the months of June, July, and August, with a variety of music from local blues, jazz, rock, folk, and country bands. Food vendors are available, offering a variety of lunchtime favorites or you may choose to bring your own. Tables are set in and around the plaza to give concertgoers a space to eat or bring a blanket and relax on the lawn. The July 5 concert will feature The Remedy Band.

333 S. Michigan St.

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

The Music Village will host its monthly "New Performer Open Mic." Musicians who are new to public performance are invited to come get some stage experience in front of a welcoming and encouraging audience. Signup for the open mic begins at 5:30 p.m. with the performance slots beginning at 6:00 p.m. 

The Gridiron 

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

Enjoy drop-in games on the Gridiron - downtown's backyard - like you'd find at a  backyard BBQ! Badminton, cornhole, giant Connect 4, and more!


5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

Students from the Riley High School Class of 2026 are volunteering their time this First Fridays to offer free face painting!

101 N. Michigan St.

6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Enjoy a fun and informative guided walking tour of South Bend landmark buildings, exploring their history and present day use.

The tours cover over twenty historical buildings and more than a half-dozen city blocks in the heart of downtown South Bend. Tours are $10 per person (cash only) with reservations requested for each tour. Reservations can be made online here or by calling Downtown South Bend at 574-282-1110. Tours start at the American Trust Company clock, located at the corner of Washington St. and Michigan St., in front of Cafe Navarre. 

211 N. Michigan St.

7:00 p.m.

Movies at the Morris Presents:  “Jaws.”  Tickets are required for this free event.

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Cape Cod, it’s up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

210 S.Michigan St.

6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

We welcome our new First Fridays Sponsor Notre Dame Federal Credit Union! They will be handing out water, popsicles, NDFCU swag, and will have a Plinko game.

First Fridays Vendors

100 Block of S. Michigan and Gridiron

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

The following vendors/organizations will have booths at this month's event.

AngLes on Wheels

Balloons by Ken

Boricuas hotdog

Burrito Mafia

Citizens' Climate Lobby

Dave Blodgett

Dena's Kitchen

Denson Specialties

Dixon s Specialty Popcorn

Dragon Dreams

El Llanito #2

Excel Center High School

Fancy Delights


KAhwatea food cart


Kay’s Glass Studio

KO's Portapit

Kona Ice


PetsConnecct! Inc.

Renewals by Anderson

Rescue Release Repeat


Smokin Jones'

St. Joseph County Office of Elections & Voter Registration

Tanai Sisters Henna

Tazty Treatz & More

The Montessori Academy Edison Lakes

TK Crochets

Wear It Uniquely

Whole Hogz

Key Bank Plaza

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

The South Bend Bike Garage will be providing a First Fridays Bike Valet which will allow you to ride to the event without having to worry about locking up your bike. They will provide a free, secure, manned area at Key Bank Plaza (by the I Heart SB statue) where your bike will be put on a rack until you return to pick it up. Your helmet can also be stored with your bike. 


The South Bend Bike Garage will also offer to clean your bike while you enjoy the festivities. Cleaning will consist of wiping down the bike, cleaning & lubricating the drive train, and making minor adjustments so the bike is clean and ready to roll safely when you pick it up. They will also have maps of local trails and safety information available.

401 E. Colfax Ave.

 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Aaron Irwin Trio will be performing at Merrimans' Playhouse this First Fridays. Tickets are $15 general/$6 students and can be purchased at this link.


The Aaron Irwin Trio has received critical praise for its evocative storytelling through a seamless blend of jazz, folk, and improvised music influences. Irwin is an acclaimed saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer based in Brooklyn, NY.  

Studebaker Plaza

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The TMV (The Music Village) Jammers will be doing a free performance at Studebaker Plaza from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

111 N. Main St.

8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Live @ Aloft in the WXYZ bar will feature DJ Outlaw playing your favorite tunes.  Live @ Aloft features local artists, groups or DJs playing music every Friday from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the WXYZ lounge. 

The WXYZ bar also has "Cocktails for a Cause" with $1 from every cocktail for a cause sold donated to their featured charity of the month.   Also take advantage of their First Fridays special - buy 1 flatbread pizza and get a 2nd flatbread pizza at 1/2 off.

Retail and Dining Specials

NOTE: First Fridays drink specials are available for anyone 21+ throughout the day on First Fridays, for the operating hours of participating businesses.  


Various locations

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

We will have several BBQ food vendors and downtown businesses this First Fridays competing in our 2nd Annual BBQ Cook-off. Purchase food from one of the following BBQ vendors at the Block Party/Gridiron area or a participating downtown business and vote for your favorite at the DTSB info booth!

First Fridays Vendors


Dena's Kitchen & Catering

Fancy Delights

Ko's Port-a-Pit


Smokin' Jones

Whole Hogz BBQ

Other Participants

G. Mottl Catering (at Rocki Button)

South Bend Chocolate Cafe

401 E. Colfax Ave.

8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Culture Cafe just opened a few months ago right next to the Merrimans' Playhouse Jazz Club. It is owned by the Merrimans and they describe their coffee house experience as cafe as 

“'Bohemia After Dark' - celebrating our common humanness through our different cultures, cultivating awareness through the arts, music, the humanities, literature, philosophy, and discussion, while sharing the joy of these moments with coffee, gelato, affogato, homemade soups, homemade baked goods, egg sandwiches, and other specialty food items." 

They will be offering free small ice cream cones -their special vanilla or salted caramel gelato - all day this First Fridays!

122 S. Michigan St.

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

The South Bend Chocolate Cafe will be featuring a BBQ Chicken Melt and a BBQ Pulled Pork wiht a side for $10, plus $5 kids' meals. They will also be selling cotton candy out front of their store.

401 E. Colfax Ave.

3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

We welcome one of our newest First Fridays participants - River Valley Farmers' Market! They are located in the Commerce Center and feature about 20 vendors selling fresh produce and other products.


This First Fridays they will have extended hours and will be offering a BBQ meat special - all brats and burger patties will be 10% off from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Ongoing First Fridays Promotions


714 E. Jefferson Blvd.

A Healing Oasis invites you to attend their First Fridays Open House, which is all about you coming to find out what their practitioners have to offer. Healers share their "magic" by offering mini sessions. You will also have a chance to check out their retail space, group events, and what services are at A Healing Oasis.


713 E. Jefferson Blvd.

$5 craft 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 $23 plus tax.


131 S. Michigan St.

Get one 14″ 1-topping pizza for $15

Chicory Cafe

105 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Free beignets with purchase! Plus live music, 16 oz. Hurricanes and Blue Raspberry Long Islands for $5​

Courtyard by Marriott Bistro

121 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

15% off full bill at the bistro First Fridays, including both food and drinks. 

127 N. Main St.

Enjoy live music by Kennedy's Kitchen from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every First Fridays!

333 S. Michigan St.

Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

1025 Northside Blvd.

Live music by Lucas Miner and 20% off bottles of MI Cabernet Franc​

121 S. Niles Ave.

Perry Vine - located inside the Emporium Building - will be doing tastings this First Fridays. Enjoy three free 1 oz. tastings, and additional for tastings $1.50. In partnership with Island Fusion guests may buy a meal and a glass and dine in the atrium area adjacent to our store — please note seats are limited. They will also have bottles for sale! Bring back your clean bottles and receive 10% off your next purchase!

218 Sycamore St.

They are located near Fire Arts and are a minority-owned studio that is seeking to build individual and community power through pole dance. They provide quality pole instruction and a welcoming atmosphere for all of their students.

They will be featuring an Intro to Pole Class every First Fridays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for $22. Registration is required and can be done on their website.

South Bend Chocolate Cafe 

122 S. Michigan St.

2 for $20 any crunch/pretzel combo

St. Joe Coffee Company

305 S. Michigan St.

$1 off monthly drink specials

Tippecanoe Place/Studebaker Grill

620 W. Washington St.

1/2 price appetizers In the Studebaker Lounge 

Unique Boutique International 

122 S. Michigan St.

50% off the entire store 

WXYZ Bar at Aloft 

111 N. Main St.

Buy 1 flatbread pizza and get a 2nd flatbread pizza at 1/2 off; plus monthly Cocktail for a Cause, with $1 from every cocktail sold donated to their featured charity of the month. 

Plus Live @ Aloft with DJ Outlaw playing your favorite tunes.  Live @ Aloft features local artists, groups or DJs playing music every Friday from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the WXYZ lounge. 


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