Downtown South Bend is excited to be a part of South Bend's first ever Fringe Festival! South Bend Civic Theatre's Fringe Festival is a collection of quirky, eclectic performances taking place May 7-9, with 28 performance groups and seven venues throughout downtown! A free preview stage will be located on Michigan Street, where we will once again be closing the 200 block for distanced dining in the street, a beer garden, vendors, and a Studebaker Car Show.
Our Downtown South Bend Architectural Walking Tours will also be returning for the summer, and many of our downtown businesses will be featuring dining and retails specials. The Drop Comedy Club will be celebrating their move to their new home at The Aloft Hotel with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony as well!
Check out all the May First Fridays details below!
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.
Entertainment & Activities
downtown South Bend
South Bend Civic Theatre, Downtown South Bend, and South Bend Venues Parks and Arts are proud to announce South Bend’s [First Ever] Fringe Festival May 7-9 - with 28 performance groups and seven venues throughout downtown! The three days of performances will include a wide range of artistic disciplines, including theatre, music, comedy, dance, and more! If you’ve never attended a Fringe Festival, you can expect short, rapid-fire, and often eccentric original performances along the Main St. corridor of downtown South Bend.
Tickets are on sale now - $5 in advance, $8 at the door. Ticket packages are also available. Click here to view the schedule and to purchase your tickets.
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
101 N. Michigan St.
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 $5 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.
Masks will be required and attendance will be limited to 30 people. Guests are asked to maintain physical distance during the tour as well.
Studebaker Car Show
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
313 S. Michigan St.
The Studebaker Drivers Club will have dozens of their cars on display this First Fridays on Michigan Street near Studebaker Plaza from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Admission is free.
4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
200 Block of South Michigan Street
DTSB will be repeating the Urban Picnic that took place for for last summer's First Fridays, and closing down a block of Michigan Street for physically-distanced dining areas and entertainment.
Grab some takeout from your favorite downtown eatery and head to the 200 block of S. Michigan St. (between Jefferson and Wayne) where we will have a physically-distanced seating areas in the street with a beer garden, vendors, Studebaker cars, and more! The seating areas will be open to people of all ages, and will be located in the south end of the block.
Tables and chairs will be cleaned by DTSB Ambassadors throughout the event, and hand sanitizer will be available. We will also be limiting the number of people in the seating area to 100 people. Masks will be required except during times guests are seated, eating, or drinking.
We are excited to partner with the South Bend Fringe Festival to offer a free preview stage in the seating area, with the following performances:
6:00 to 6:30 p.m.
Lola and Stacey are Being Pranked (Hope Brannon & Lucy Collins)
3 2 1 Fringe (Steve Freeto & Grace Lazarz)
The New Sounds of the Violin (Matt Scutchfield)
8:00 to 8:45 p.m.
Cringe at the Fringe: Readings and Recitations (Aaron Nichols & friends)
111 N. Main St.
The Drop Comedy Club has a new home inside The Aloft Hotel, and they are celebrating with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony this First Fridays at 8:00 p.m. on the 6th floor. Their grand reopening took place the weekend of April 2nd and 3rd and they have hosted three shows each weekend since then. They will have a full weekend of shows this weekend with national touring headliner Cory Michaelis out of Seattle, Washington - Friday at 9:00 p.m., Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Purchase your tickets by clicking here.
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
May is National Foster Care Month and SAFY - Special Alternatives for Youth and Families - is holding a Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest this First Fridays to raise awareness that as a community we can all participate in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Stop by their booth near Studebaker Plaza to get some sidewalk chalk from noon to 7:00 p.m. They will assign you a section of sidewalk for your chalk creation. Take a photo of your chalk art and email it to or text to 274-8474.
12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For the past four years, the Center for a Sustainable Future has held a series of 8-12 weeks of individual talks in the Sustainability & Innovation Series. They are now being held on the First Fridays of each month, a perfect tie-in to DTSB First Fridays activities and great fuel for First Fridays conversations!
Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, the Center will showcase incredible local sustainability and innovation leaders to share how and why they are working to transform South Bend and the greater region into an innovative and sustainable place.
The theme of the talks is “Seeing Systems,” which invites speakers to make and share connections between social justice, sustainability, community building, peace building efforts, and more.
Join in on First Friday Innovation Conversations each First Friday from noon to 12:30 p.m. Listen in and share comments and questions on YouTube to join the conversations every first Friday at noon from wherever you are that day!
May 7: “Growing Global Sustainability” with Avanti Lalwani, Briter Products, and IU South Bend Sustainability Fellow.
Food, Drink & Retail Specials
We're calling on the South Bend community to help our downtown restaurants by pledging to spending $25 a week on carryout. This simple act can help our downtown restaurants thrive, save jobs, and also help you discover new foods to enjoy! Join the TakeOut 25 Facebook Group and post your carryout pictures for a chance to win $100 gift card to the restaurant you posted about!
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
212 S. Michigan St.
Take 20% off art books at Idle Hours Bookshop this First Fridays.
12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
333 S. Michigan St.
The Friends of the Library Book Sale is back open! Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. To protect the community, the following safety measures will be in place:
Masks will be required.
Capacity is limited to ten people at a time, and their time will be limited to 30 minutes.
Be prepared to wait outside.
Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available to clean carts and baskets.
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 $22 plus tax.
131 S. Michigan St.
Get one 14″ 1-topping pizza for $12
428 Lincoln Way West
Get an 18" 2-topping pizza, garlic cheese bread, and a 2 liter of soda for just $24
105 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Live music, $1.50 one scoop gelato, and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $6.00
123 S. Michigan St.
50% off a box of dipped fruit (pick-up)
602 Lincoln Way East
20% off for new guests and 10% off all retail
1025 Northside Blvd.
Live music, 20% off bottles of Henri
216 S. Michigan St.
New seasonal beer release
122 S. Michigan St.
2 for $20 any crunch/pretzel combo
620 W. Washington St.
1/2 price appetizers In the Studebaker Lounge
122 S. Michigan St.
50% off the entire store
111 N. Main St.
$5 IPA beer special