Friday art strolls have become a mainstay for Eastern Shore towns, with each Friday slated for various art strolls across Delmarva. For Salisbury, their now successful 3rd Friday first came to light in July of 2009 by Connie Strott and Lee Whaley- both Arts and Entertainment district committee members and longtime champions of Downtown Salisbury. After seeing overwhelming success in similar events such as Snow Hill and Berlin, 3rd Fridays in Salisbury seemed an obvious choice.
We decided to catch up with Jamie Heater recently to learn more about 3rd Friday in Salisbury. After attending her first 3rd Friday event in Downtown Salisbury, Jamie was immediately hooked and quickly decided to get involved by volunteering. “Although no one can really recall when it happened, somewhere in the last 2-3ish years, I officially became the Head Coordinator/Promoter/Benevolent Dictator of 3rd Fridays” Jamie explained, adding “the rest is history.”
If you have never been to a 3rd Friday celebration, it’s the perfect reflection of what Downtown Salisbury has to offer. “There is something for everyone at 3rd Fridays and a vast array of things to see. One person’s 3rd Friday can be different from the next,” explained Jamie. “Some may choose to stay outdoors, listen to the bands and visit the art vendors. Others may hit up the various gallery openings or head out to eat. It’s kind of a choose your own adventure.”
On any given 3rd Friday in Salisbury, you can expect crowd numbers to range anywhere from 800 to 1,500 people. With a huge variety of vendors and an ever growing vendors list you can find just about anything to buy, browse or enjoy while strolling along the Downtown Plaza. Fine art originals and prints, hand-made soap and jewelry, hobby crafters, local authors, comic book publishers, and local non-profit organizations are just a few of the vendors you can expect to find downtown during 3rd Friday celebrations. Aside from the attendees, the volunteers see 3rd Friday as being divided into three parts, explained Jamie. First, there are the special events hosted by the Downtown businesses, restaurants, galleries and organizations. Next, are the art vendors, crafters and performances hosted in the streets. Finally, what Jamie termed as the “otherness,” which includes monthly educational themes for each month. “This is that little bit of extra that ensures each 3rd Friday is different from previous ones,” added Jamie.
“Every 3rd Friday is a new experience that grows and changes each and every month” Jamie proudly stated. This Friday (3rd Friday) will be “doubly packed” Jamie explained excitedly. With a weather cancellation last month, the May “Wheels” theme will actually combine with this month’s “Urban Artscapes” theme.
“All 3rd Friday really is is a time and a place where things happen on the third Friday of every month in Downtown Salisbury, with arts and entertainment from 5-8pm. Although the implications of this format are enormous, the 3rd Friday concept is something we can continue to leverage. The celebration of local arts and culture is a worthy and inexhaustible cause” said Jamie. “While momentum is building, we’ve barely scratched the surface of lasting cultural and revitalization in our town, but we are certainly on our way!”