Spotlight on First Fridays

What began nearly a decade ago simply as a First Friday Art Walk, has slowly been transformed into an event that appeals to people of all ages and interests and draws crowds to downtown Camas. It has become a celebration that benefits the community on several different levels.

For business owners, First Friday has meant a boost in sales and visibility. And, for local families it is a chance to not only “buy local,” but maybe more importantly feel connected to their community — a desire that more and more is being put at the forefront when families are deciding where to live.

The work of the Downtown Camas Association, which now organizes the events, and the business owners and volunteers who work together to make them happen each month, was recognized last week as part of the Washington Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards ceremony.

Officials from the state’s Main Street Program had this to say:

“The event draws locals and visitors off the sidewalks and into stores, making it an opportunity for participating merchants to boost sales. This design is highly intentional and introduces shoppers to merchants and products they may have overlooked otherwise. Restaurants that used to participate are now too busy with customers to participate and other stores claim record sales on First Fridays, month after month, and many are expanding.”

In short, First Fridays have become important dates to circle on the calendar.

For those who haven’t had a chance to experience First Friday, the popular “Camas Poker Tour” is on tap for June 5. It’s an opportunity to experience what everyone’s talking about.