Rather than competing with Havre de Grace for visitors, the town of Bel Air is moving its monthly Friday celebrations to the end of the month.
“We’ve had First Fridays for quite a number of years, so did Havre de Grace,” said Jenny Falcone, director of development for the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, which runs First Fridays. “We heard from a lot of community members they really like both events and were sad they had to choose. We really didn’t feel the need to compete anymore.”
Instead of First Fridays, the Bel Air Downtown Alliance will host Fourth Fridays, on the fourth Friday April through September, Falcone said, with the first one coming April 26.
“It’s just another weekend we have something awesome going on in Harford County,” she said.
Lauri Orzewicz, Havre de Grace’s tourism manager, said “it’s wonderful that Harford County residents do not have to choose, and look forward to these two very successful events continuing.”
The Bel Air Downtown Alliance puts on a number of different events throughout the month and tries to spread them out.
The Main Street Social, a networking event, is the fourth Wednesday of the month, Sip and Shop is on the third Thursday and the Belle Aire Market is the second Sunday of each month, May through October.
Fourth Fridays will take place at the same time and place as First Fridays, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the municipal parking lot next to Black Eyed Suzie’s, Falcone said, but with a few new things added this year.
“It’s like a big block party,” she said.
There is an area for live music, which typically has a cover band with a country or rock-type feel, and an area for food provided by Black Eyed Suzie’s.
The beer garden features different craft and domestic beers as well as wine. Twisted Teas were introduced last year and this year the Alliance has some new surprises in terms of drinks, but Falcone wasn’t ready to divulge details.
Kona Ice sells snowcones for the kids, who can also get their faces painted for free.
In The Yard — the astroturf area — are games such as cornhole and giant Jenga in addition to new games being introduced this year.
“Families can come to hang out and play,” Falcone said. “It’s just a great place to get together on a Friday after a long week of work.”
Many of the shops in town stay open later for the Friday celebrations.
“The purpose behind the event is not just to have a really amazing event for the community to come to,” Falcone said. “We want people to leave and keep the party going by going to a downtown restaurant or pub. We have so many amazing restaurants and pubs downtown we want people to go from our event and experience all that downtown Bel Air has to offer.”
Fourth Fridays would not be possible without its main sponsors — this year Orange Theory Fitness and Anchor Mechanical LLC — as well as the Town of Bel Air and its businesses, she said.
“This is a community effort and we’re really grateful for all the people that make this event possible,” Falcone said.
April 5 will be Havre de Grace’s first First Friday event of the season, which runs until October.
Orzewicz said the city’s First Friday’s events have grown bigger each year.
“We close seven blocks with a live band on each block, we have an entire street dedicated to food trucks, another street dedicated to kids activities and over 75 merchandise vendors,” she said.