First Friday Brings Music to the Streets of Dade City

June 2 kicks off summer’s First Friday, a date night of sorts featuring live music, store specials and a community atmosphere from 5-9 pm in Dade City. Downtown shopkeepers and restaurateurs are staying open late to bring some of the finest shopping and dining to NatureCoasters.

Live music, in the form of street musicians throughout the downtown area, will be a big part of the festivities, creating a “New Orleans” feel for those who attend. This is a family friendly event that the merchants plan to continue indefinitely.

The 1909 historic Pasco County courthouse is a Dade City icon and is registered on the the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
The 1909 historic Pasco County courthouse is a Dade City icon and is registered on the the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Downtown Dade City is a charming place, with its specialty retailers offering everything from antiques to ladies’ fashions, toys, games, pet accessories, jewelry, books, and much more. In fact, there are more than 20 antique and specialty retailers in the area surrounding Pasco County’s historic Courthouse, as well as 19 restaurants and lounges. It’s a special place to visit, with Southern hopsitality and festive shop windows that brings guests back to a sense of place.

April 7’s First Friday event in Dade City brought many people downtown to enjoy the open air, lively tunes and delicious dining choices that were presented. Image courtesy of Richard K. Riley.

Because many of the shops and restaurants close by 6pm daily, it can be hard to get to Dade City’s shopping and dining respite after the daily grind.

When residents began asking shops to stay open later, the Dade City Merchants Association came up with First Fridays, a date night of sorts that features live music, store specials, and a community atmosphere from 5-9 pm on the first Friday of each month.

Live music at various locations throughout the Courthouse Square helps to bring the New Orleans feels to Dade City’s First Friday. Image courtesy of Richard K. Riley.

April 7 was the first First Friday event, and it was a rousing success. Many people visited the downtown and enjoyed the open air, lively tunes, store specials, and delicious dining choices that were presented.

May’s first Friday landed on Cinco de Mayo, which included a parade on Lock Street and lots of Mexican-themed festivities. Lori Anne’s featured “Music and Margaritas.” Their regular customers enjoyed live music by the duo Phase 111, while viewing the latest fashions, gifts and home décor.

Phase 111 performs wonderful acoustic rock, country and Southern rock to entertain visitors to Lori Anne’s on June 2.

“New customers stopped in to see what all the fuss was and ended up having a blast!” Grady Cunningham, the store’s owner said, “June 2 is Music, Mojitos and Margaritas, with chips and salsa – and you can enter to win a $50 Shopping Spree at the store!”

Quilts on Plum Lane is featuring a tropical evening theme, with sangria and tropical appetizers.

There are fun activities at several merchant locations adding to the fun of the event. Image courtesy of Richard K. Riley.

Church Street Shoppe “Toys, Kites & More” will have a cookie tower. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate, and enjoy the live music.

Dog Mania & Cats will have their fantastic flautist return for guests’ entertainment. Click here for a taste of her talent. There will be refreshments for doggies and their owners, selfie sticks for fun pet pictures, and you can enter to win the Pet-tastic gift basket while you visit.

Makers & Shakers will again feature Southern Charm’s live music. While you are visiting, sign up for one of their Pinterest classes and make something you have always admired.

“Visitors to my shop were treated to mini scones and clotted cream from The Angel Tea Room,” said Kathleen Hotchkiss, owner of Top Drawer Antiques, “as well as teas from European Emporium. They were excited to find out about other shops in the downtown and enjoyed visiting all the way from the north end to the south end of the downtown.”

Top Drawer Antiques has partnered with Dog-Mania and Cats to raise funds for the pet food bank. Make a donation and take a dog food sample at Top Drawer. Additionally, all animal figurines are 10% off for this event.

Musicians performing throughout the downtown area June 2 include: Pat Barnes, Country bluegrass/Folk classic; Glass Holez, popular music; Phase 111, 70s southern rock & country; Cross Canyon, country rock & outlaw country; Jenny James, barn dance music; Tyler Monteith, 70’s blues saxophone; and David Townsend, old time.

Crossfire Canyon Band returns to the First Friday event. Image courtesy of Richard K. Riley.

Kafe Kokopelli will be featuring the saxophone and vocal talents of Alan Darcy from 7-10pm.

Several shops offer special deals, and well-behaved pets on leashes are welcome in Dade City. Stroll the streets and enjoy the windows, the beautiful courthouse lawn, live musicians and your neighbors and new friends at First Friday on June 2.

Image courtesy of Richard K. Riley

First Friday Recap:

19 Restaurants – guaranteed to satisfy any palate!

A Matter of Taste Café, Angel Tea Room, Beef O’Brady’s Family Sports Pub, Creams Ice Cream/Sorbet, D & R Specialty Hot Dogs, Del Carmen Mexican Restaurant, Francesco’s Restaurant, Kafé Kokopelli, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Little Mexico Restaurant, Tina & Joe’s Café (formerly Mallie Kayla’s), Olga’s Bakery & Deli, Perk’s Café, T’s Deli and Ice Cream, Rolando’s Cigar Bar/Lounge, Steph’s Southern Soul Food Restaurant, The Brass Tap, The Garden Café, Truly Mediterranean Grill.

Shopping is always a pleasure at the many antique and specialty retailers in downtown Dade City. Image courtesy of Richard K. Riley

20 Shops with unique shopping from Antiques to toys for all ages!

Annetta’s Antiques, French Thyme Antiques, Sugarcreek Too, The Shabby Hen Nest, Top Drawer Antiques, The Book Shack, Lori Annes, Quilts on Plum Lane, byDesign, Badcock Home Furniture, Makers & Shakers, Heavenly Treasures, The Magnolia House, Kiefer Village Jewels, Flint Creek Outfitters, Dog-Mania & Cats, European Emporium, Another Man’s Treasure, Church Street Shoppe (toys).

Yes, we are going to have a good time at First Friday on June 2 in downtown Dade City. Come join us. Image courtesy of Richard K. Riley.

Entertainment – Bands and Street Musicians, New Orleans style!

Bands @ Kokopelli’s, and Makers & Shakers, Street Musicians next to Top Drawer, European Emporium, Dog-Mania & Cats, and Sugarcreek Too. Live Music, Margaritas & Mojitos @ Lori Anne’s, Brass Tap will have live music from 7:30 – 11:30 pm along with specials at both Beefs and Brass Tap.

Here is a virtual tour of Authentic Dade City Now make plans to get out and enjoy First Friday June 2 – and bring your friends!