Folks have been flocking to Front Street in droves on Friday nights to enjoy an evening of food, shopping, entertainment and community – and there’s more fun to be had in the coming weeks.
The Downtown New West Business Improvement Area is thrilled with the community’s response to the return of Fridays on Front, which features live music, food trucks, vendors, children’s activities and more. The event is fully licensed in partnership with Steel & Oak Brewing Co. and Pacific Breeze Winery.
“The crowds have been great,” said Kendra Johnston, executive director of the BIA. “We have had so much positive feedback. I think people are just feeling excited to be out in the community again.”
With two events down, the Fridays on Front fun continues on July 22, Aug. 5, 12 and 19. It’s happening in the 600 block of Front Street from 5 to 9 p.m.
“We've definitely brought in more partners than we have in previous years,” Johnston said. “So for the music, for instance, we're working with Bully's Studios and UCASS to curate all the music, and they've brought in some artists that have been really well received.”
Family Place is doing a “terrific job” running the kid's zone, Johnston added.
What’s coming up?
In August, Fridays on Front organizers will be partnering with Shop First Nations to bring in more Indigenous makers for its artisan market.
The Pride-themed edition of Fridays on Front is set for Friday, Aug. 12.
“We'll be decked out for Pride Week,” Johnston said. “We'll have some LGBTQ+ artists performing. That's always a fun one.”
Johnston said it’s great to see the community events that have been taking place in New Westminster, including Fridays on Front, going so well.
“Obviously, there's a need for this, and people are craving that connection and being out in the community again,” she said. “So it's really thrilling to see folks out and about in New West again.”
In addition to Fridays on Front, the BIA is also excited the upcoming Car Free Day, which is on Columbia Street on Saturday, Aug. 6 from noon to 8 p.m. Presented by TransLink, the event will feature live entertainment, vendors, exhibitors and interactive elements and food trucks.
“It's sort of an evolution of Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest – more of a focus on community, sustainability. TransLink is sponsoring Car Free Day this year, and they're bringing in some cool activations,” Johnston said. “There'll be all the things that people love; lots of food trucks, beer gardens, a kid’s zone, and entertainment – live entertainment and a DJ stage.”
Johnston is also looking forward to the new Farewell to Summer Fireworks Festival, which is being hosted by the Hyack Festival Association on Saturday, Aug. 27.
“I think that will be very well received,” she said. “I think people have missed fireworks the last several years. So we're really excited to see that event come back to downtown New West.”