Helena First Friday closes out season successfully
Published 4:03 pm Monday, August 8, 2016
By SAMANTHA HURST / Special to the Reporter
HELENA – Gourmet cheesecakes, video games, essential oils and taco stands all filled downtown Helena for this season’s last Helena First Friday event Aug. 5.
Kristi Scozzaro said she and co-coordinator Jim Wathen have enjoyed seeing this now three-year-old event grow.
“The growing numbers just show community involvement. It shows home much those of us who live in Helena love our little community,” Scozzaro said. “It’s great to come out because you get to meet a lot of new people; you get to meet your neighbors.”
Allen Farmer with the Helena Business Association ran the event for two years before Scozzaro and Waffen took over, she said.
Scozzaro said in April they saw about 750 people take part in the event. This weekend they entertained about 1,500. Those Helena residents and visitors interacted with almost 50 vendors in total. That included four food trucks and two dessert vendors.
“In April, I was begging and scrounging for people to participate but now the event grows itself,” Scozzaro said. “First Friday is a great opportunity for Helena businesses, especially in the Old Towne, to showcase what they do. Then the businesses that are home-based come out and get exposure to the community too.”
Setting up all the vendors, making sure entertainers are ready to perform and ensuring the event runs smoothly are all big tasks. Scozzaro said to make sure this all happens, they’ve enlisted the assistance of many high school students.
“It’s just amazing the number of people who want to come out and volunteer,” she said. “Some of the high schoolers are really catching that civic minded spirit. They are learning to do things for their community without necessarily getting anything back in return.”
Other high school students from the band took time out of their Friday nights to entertain the crowd for 45 minutes.
Helena First Friday takes a break this fall until the first Friday of December.
Plans for December’s event already have organizers busy. Scozzaro said the event will be holiday focused with a performance by the Helena High School jazz band and choir members caroling up and down through each business.
To keep up with updates regarding the next First Friday event, visit and like facebook.com/Helena.Friday.3