It’s hard to think that we’re still seeing some major cancellations of events and festivals, such as the Elmwood Festival of the Arts (EAFA), which announced last week that the show would not go on in 2021. When I heard of that news, it was a wakeup call that we still had a ways to go before things would get back to normal – at least for larger festivals (EAFA is held in August).
While thinking about the canceling of EAFA, not only was I concerned about the art lovers, I was also concerned about the artists that count on these events to supplement their incomes. Not to mention the small businesses that rely upon these types of events to boost their sales.
Around the same time that EAFA announced that it would ride 2021 out, the Allentown Association proclaimed that First Fridays were back on. While not as explosive as the Elmwood festival, the gallery walk has turned into a sensational event series for the Allentown neighborhood. Plus, the footprint of the gallery walk appears to be growing, as the number of gallery-esque venues escalate.
Starting on Friday, June 4, attendees to First Friday will find the following venues and establishments open and participating in the meandering affair:
Allen Street East of Delaware Ave:
Pine Apple Company – 65 Allen Street
Buffalo Barkery – 47 Allen Street
The Standard – 76 Allen Street
Ms Eye Candy – 85 Allen Street
Allen Street Dress Shop – 89 Allen Street
Allentown Vibes – 93 Allen Street
Trend Up – 95 Allen Street
El Museo Gallery – 91 Allen Street
The Hiraeth House – 501 Delaware Avenue
barre(tend) – 503 Delaware Avenue
Allen Street West of Delaware:
The Intersection Café – 100 Elmwood Avenue
Allentown Café – 220 Allen Street
Rivalry Projects – 106 College Street
PAUSA Arthouse – 19 Wadsworth Street
Even for those who are overly familiar with Allentown, there are some new businesses and galleries on that list that you probably are not familiar with. The Gallery Walk is the ideal chance to catch up with some of these establishments that opened during the pandemic. Aside from a couple of sensational new galleries, there are a number of new cafés and retail shops, such as The Hiraeth House, which is “a community of women business” all under one roof. And now that Allen Street has a new pet shop, it’s the perfect time to bring Fido along.
Information and guidelines:
Shops and galleries will extend their hours from 6pm – 9pm for a unique neighborhood-wide experience.
All visitors and vendors are required to operate within mask regulations and social distancing recommended by the CDC. Please follow all rules at each venue to ensure a safe and engaging gallery walk experience.
Lead image courtesy Allentown First Friday Gallery Walk (see Facebook event)