Every First Friday in downtown Marietta, Marietta Main Street hosts themed shopping nights and fun activities for families to enjoy in the heart of the city. March’s First Friday invites locals and tourists alike to Shamrock & Roll throughout downtown with live music from local musicians, late night shopping, drink specials, great food from local restaurants, and kid-friendly activities on the lawn of the Armory.

For March’s First Friday Shamrock & Roll theme, a variety of local musicians will be found performing downtown throughout the evening, including Randy Sloter & Vinnie Mele (5 p.m. to 6 p.m.), Nate Shahan & Jimmy Woodward (6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.), and Sadie Johnson (7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at the Busy Bee Restaurant, High Schools That Rock (6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) at Jeremiah’s Coffee House, Ethan Timm (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at Over the Moon Pub & Pizza, and Two Buds & A Slapbox (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at The Adelphia Music Hall.

Larry Sloter, owner of the Busy Bee Restaurant – the title sponsor of March First Friday – is looking forward to the event with a full restaurant, great music, flavorful cocktails and great dishes for customers.

Busy Bee Restaurant (Michelle Waters)

“We are just happy to be able to bring a new option to our customers and provide something the Busy Bee has never done before. We get to showcase our liquor license and it’ll be fun for us to work through this process with our customers,” said Sloter. 

“We want the community to be aware that we have numerous options available outside of breakfast and lunch. With our new alcohol permit, we want customers to know that our dining room can be available to rent for parties and events and that alcohol can now be an option. Visibility and customer awareness are key and sponsoring First Friday achieves all of that for us,” continued Sloter.

Becca Waters of Downtown Bargains shared that as a new business downtown, First Friday events allow first time customers a chance to come in and see who they are, plus it allows returning customers a chance to bring in friends and family to view new inventory.

“I love meeting new people and thanks to past First Fridays, not only did I have new customers but customers who love and support small local businesses like myself!” said Waters.

Shops along Front Street (Sarah Arnold)

In addition to Downtown Bargains, other participating retailers include American Flags & Poles with a 50s jukebox in the window and $100 gift certificate giveaways, Andy’s Toy Chest with 10% off in-store, Sugar Maple Boutique with 15% off items plus clearance racks and $25 gift card giveaways, Teri Ann’s with H. Reitz & Co. wreaths, Threadz Boutique with gift card giveaways, and Wit & Whimzy with a Name That Tune 80s music contest. Other open retail shops include Baker & Baker Jewelers, Hive Alive, and Just A Jar Design Press.

Along with late-night shopping, restaurants will be open late offering unique culinary fare and drink specials like 740 Social, Busy Bee Restaurant, Jeremiah’s Coffee House, Over the Moon Pub & Pizza, and The Original Pizza Place. 

John Monk, artist at the Riverside Artists Gallery, thinks First Friday events are key for their business on Second Street. “First Friday not only provides us with an opportunity to sell our art, but also provides us with an opportunity to meet and get to know our clientele. The unified themes help provide focus for our monthly shows, and a First Friday event is the perfect platform for opening each new show. Community support for these events helps make our monthly shows a success and also helps us link more closely with other retailers in Marietta,” said Monk.

Over the Moon Pub & Pizza (Michelle Waters)

Riverside Artists Gallery will be “Celebrating Green and Gold” with art by their members, consignments artists, and friends. Plus, guests can participate in their new Monthly Art Giveaway, where visitors can enter a drawing for a piece of selected artwork each month. Other special events include an Emleighs & Mama B’s pop-up shop at Jeremiah’s Coffee House, pop-up classes for guests at Rockstar Wellness, and a three-course meal at Busy Bee Restaurant. For Busy Bee’s three-course meal, live music and creative cocktails will be paired with appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Reservations are required and space is limited, so hopeful guests are encouraged to call 740-373-3755.

And, families are invited to the Armory to stop at tents hosted by Artsbridge and the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley as part of Kid Central, a monthly pop-up for kids during First Friday events with fun family-oriented activities and more.

“Main Street is an important part of our downtown community. Being a sponsor allows us to continue to give back to Main Street so they can in turn continue to provide support to all our entire downtown area. It’s a win/win for us – we get to show off what we can do, bring in additional revenue during a time when COVID-19 still has things a mess and support other businesses through Main Street,” said event sponsor Sloter of the Busy Bee. 

To learn more about Marietta Main Street, upcoming events and programs, and future opportunities to sponsor downtown events, visit the Marietta Main Street website at: www.mariettamainstreet.org or email info@mariettamainstreet.org.