May First Friday
Everything’s Blooming Downtown on First Friday, May 7
(April 30, 2021) “Everything’s Blooming Downtown” as First Friday resumes on Friday, May 7. The Downtown Dover Partnership has preparations underway for an enjoyable evening of shopping, dining, taste-testing, crafting, music, and even “mini-theater” on First Friday. Two Delaware State Police mounted patrols will be on hand for community members to be meet the horses and chat with the officers.
The community will enjoy seeing the launch of the merchant window decorating contest on First Friday. “I consider our business district’s outstanding shop windows to actually be tiny theaters and people rarely stop to appreciate the care taken in creating them,” commented Diane Laird, DDP Executive Director. “Most of us live a hurried lifestyle. But taking a few minutes to peer closely into these colorful mini-theaters, window shoppers will not only see products for sale, but the ‘everything’s blooming’ theme depicted with great imagination, whimsy, and vibrancy, bringing about far richer experience than if walking by at our normal quicker pace.” She noted that merchant windows will also include a page from the storybook Bloom by Deborah Diesen to support the quarter’s theme. This activity is called a Story Walk and was coordinated with Rosie Mujica and Susan Elizabeth Cordle who oversee youth services at the Dover Public Library. For details, visit: “https://Tinyurl.com/DoverStoryWalk”.
The Downtown Dover Partnership is pleased to report that at least five new businesses – all eateries – will be opening on or adjacent to Loockerman Street within the next six months. Snippets of the foods of several of these eateries will be available for sample and purchase from 5-8 p.m. and owners and representatives will be on hand to meet the Dover community including Rebel Cove at 33 West Loockerman, Pineapple Kale smoothies and yoga, and an authentic Coney Island hot dog and hamburger shop that will also include a full breakfast. City Planner Dave Hugg noted that the DDP and the City work closely to prospect for key categories of businesses for downtown and eateries such as these are a high priority and a big win for the city’s central business district.
A "make a flower or plant a seed" do-it-yourself project for Mom, sponsored by United Church, will be available outside of Cendel Building, 101 W. Loockerman Street. People of all ages can participate and will be provided with seeds, soil and containers to plant a flower or herb and take to their home garden or they can choose to make a giant tissue paper flower with materials provided on site. In addition, a variety of seed packets, free of charge, may be found at participating shops for First Friday hours of 5-8 p.m.
Carla Wilson, overseer of the DDP’s Downtown Dover Ambassador Program, is pleased to note that 6-8 ambassadors will be on site providing a welcome to shoppers. “We’ve chosen to support the ‘bloom’ theme by proving long-stemmed flowers to people that come to enjoy the music and celebrate being outdoors after a pretty long winter. Between our flowers, the windows, and the giant tissue paper flowers, there will be a lot of color and fun!”
Singer-songwriter and guitarist, Paul Donovan, will be playing covers and originals that span multiple decades of great music near Loockerman Way Plaza, and musical buskers will be indoors and outside of shops, including saxophonist Grady O’Connor at The House of Coffi, Guitarist/Singer Mike Miller at My Roots, Jim McGriffin, Kathy Doyle, Stu Welch at Park Green Galleries and The Delaware Store, Mollie Raley Hall Inside at SOZO, and keyboardist Samuel Mace accompanied by singer Rashawn King Zuha Trend. Other stores that will be open late include Tina’s Timeless Threads and Forney’s Too Ltd.
To “unlock value downtown,” shoppers should remember to bring or request their Capital Key card for promotions at their favorite stores by visiting: “https://Tinyurl.com/CapitalKeyRegistration”. Keys may also be picked up at participating shops, a list of which may be found at “https://Tinyurl.com/CapitalKey”.
All First Friday activities will be spaced appropriately, and participants are asked to support social distancing and observe COVID-precautionary practices.