Cold Spring First Friday Shows Momentum

Discernible buzz on Main Street

By Kevin E. Foley

Buster Levi Gallery

Buster Levi Gallery

Balmy evening weather contributed to the feeling that Cold Spring’s emerging monthly First Friday event is on the right road. Conversations with merchants and visitors along Main Street on Friday, May 2, suggested that the idea of stores staying open late, art galleries opening shows, and restaurants offering discounts was a formula for long-term success.

Attendees also thought the event added to the opportunities for community engagement with neighbors and friends as it offered an added reason for meeting or simply experiencing a surprise encounter at a venue or on the street.

Gallery 66 NY draws a crowd at First Friday on May 2.

Gallery 66 NY draws a crowd at First Friday on May 2.

As late as 8:30 p.m. shoppers were purchasing wares in the Cold Spring General Store, Swing and Old Souls. Restaurants such as Le Bouchon, Cathryn’s and Whistling Willie’s appeared quite full. And galleries reported a good number of visitors.

Barbara Galazzo of Gallery 66 NY, one of the organizers of First Friday, said that more businesses and restaurants had already expressed interest in formal participation for the June event as a result of the turnout last Friday.

Photos by K.E. Foley

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2 thoughts on “Cold Spring First Friday Shows Momentum

  1. We are thrilled with the First Friday turnout and look forward to many more!

  2. It’s really a shame that this event was not more inclusive of the “other” merchants on Main Street, many of whom were never told about this happening. I really don’t understand why there wasn’t an effort to bring in the rest of the retailers, many of whom have been here for quite some time.

    While I’m glad that Ms. Galazzo and the others have taken the initiative, an event like this needs all the participation it can get in order to be truly successful, which in my book means attracting (minimally) hundreds of visitors and potential customers.

    Even the moderate success of First Friday points out the glaring need for more events during the nice weather. Even something like the former antique show has the potential to bring in thousands of visitors, and Cold Spring has several locations that would provide great venues for shows and music. Look no further than our neighbors in Peekskill and Beacon to see how invigorating these types of events can be for Main Street and vicinity.

    There are any number of promoters out there who would love to bring quality entertainment and shows to the Village; all it takes is some money and some organization. While the merchants don’t have the resources to do this on our own, there are taxpayer-funded government agencies that do. Example: Putnam County Tourism Agency, Cold Spring Parks & Rec, Philipstown Parks & Rec. could and should be assisting us with money and manpower.

    Am I the only one that thinks we should expect more from the government that we so generously support with our tax dollars? That’s why these agencies exist in the first place, and it’s about time that we start having this discussion before we lose another prime tourist season.