Update: A friend reminds us: Art galleries, restaurants and bars in the First Friday fun zone will be open as usual tonight. It’s just the outdoor component that’s been washed out by our late-arriving wet season.
Bay City News
For the first time in its two-year history, a First Fridays event in downtown Oakland is being canceled because of rain, organizers said Thursday.
The street party, which takes place on Telegraph Avenue from West Grand Avenue to 27th Street, draws thousands of people to Oakland’s Uptown district on the first Friday of every month. It is an offshoot of Art Murmur, a gallery walk that occurs earlier on the same night.
Although the street party won’t be held this Friday, organizers said there will still be plenty of indoor activities such as the Art Murmur walk, and people can still visit the 25th Street Collective, a warehouse for slow food and slow fashion artisans. And of course, bars, restaurants and music venues in the area will remain open.
Festival coordinator Sarah Kidder said that until now, First Fridays has been blessed with good weather, although an unexpected storm limited attendance at the event in December.
“We’ve been fortunate until now, and we’re thrilled that there’s rain because of the drought,” Kidder said. She said it would be unsafe to hold the event this Friday because most musicians, street vendors and artists who have outdoor booths don’t have tents.
“People and art would get wet, and there might be electrocution issues,” Kidder said. She said First Fridays will return on March 7, as long as there isn’t more rain then.