First Fridays continue, even in the off season.
Discover Lansdale Chairwoman Mary Fuller, who also serves as a Lansdale Borough Councilwoman and Parks and Recreation Committee Chairwoman, updated said committee Wednesday night of plans for an open house for business owners and sponsors to see how their money benefits First Friday, and how First Friday benefits their businesses.
The open house is tentatively set for Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lansdale Parks and Recreation Building. Fuller promoted it as a PowerPoint presentation, along with food and beverages.
"Our plan is to invite business owners, particularly ones in the downtown, and potential sponsors, and spend some time one-on-one talking to these people about how First Friday benefits the community and specifically how it can help their businesses, or how sponsorship dollars can be used and why that's a benefit to their organization," Fuller said.
Fuller said the First Friday Committee feels strongly that there is a lot of benefit in being a sponsor of the monthly events.
"You see the number of people that come into town, and they're not just from Lansdale," Fuller said. "We think there's a great opportunity and we'd like our business owners and managers to capitalize on that. We want to make sure they are taking full advantage, and make sure they understand how many people are really coming in and that these people are spending money in Lansdale."
Fuller said the First Friday Committee is pushing for greater Lansdale businesses to come in and be sponsors, such as those located at The Pavilion and Hillcrest shopping centers.
"We know the old First Friday regime tried, and for some reason, that area doesn't seem to be real interested," Fuller said. "It's certainly an area we want to concentrate on."
Fuller said the businesses on the far end of West Main Street, closer to Starbucks, are more interested in sponsoring First Fridays.
"We would like to build those other areas up and invite those businesses to come into the downtown," she said. "The trouble is, sometimes they don't always have the help from their location to come up."
Fuller said the committee now has more time to focus on recruiting other businesses, and it has a better system set up since its revival of First Fridays in 2012.
"Last year, we were figuring out our system. We are more on track this year. We were able to work on the 2013 season back in 2012," she said. "We are not trying to make it difficult for them, but it would only be to their benefit if they participate somehow."
One thing the First Fridays Committee wants to do in 2013: Display businesses taking part in First Friday in front or in an empty storefront on Main Street.
"We want everything filled in. Everybody benefits from that," Fuller said.
Meanwhile, the First Friday Committee continues to meet and plan for the 2013 season, which begins in April.
"We've begun to book entertainment for next year," Fuller said.
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant in Towamencin has come on board for a Cinqo de Mayo Party for the May 3 First Friday. The party will be at Railroad Plaza. Futhermore, Beatles tribute band Almost Fab is scheduled to play on Wood Street during that same First Friday.
"May 3 will be a huge First Friday," Fuller said.