The First Thursday block parties on Mid Main just celebrated their tenth season this past spring and after taking some time off during COVID and slowly returning to its original format including an outdoor street market, First Thursdays are back in full force.
The last event of the Spring season will take place on Thursday, June 2 starting at 6 p.m. and then the monthly series will take a short break until it returns in the month of September.
“Things are definitely back in full swing which is really nice,” says organizer Lane Schultz who has been involved in the planning of the monthly events since they began. “We made a few changes for the event and I think that’s really been great both for us, the businesses and also the non profits involved.”
The monthly event is a guaranteed good time with hours of entertainment for a good cause as visitors pay the low ticket price of $10 giving them access to free drinks, a curated art gallery within the Mid Main Lofts gorgeous lobby, access to live music up and down the block and specials in the nearby restaurants and shops.
“The turnout has been great and I really feel like this has been probably one of our better years getting back into it,” says Shultz. “It’s always iffy with the COVID, you never know if things are going to spike or people are going to be nervous coming out but this Spring I feel like it’s been such a gift and people are happy to be back out. There’s just a real sense of energy and excitement and it’s been great.”
“This Spring I feel like it’s been such a gift and people are happy to be back out. There’s just a real sense of energy and excitement and it’s been great.”
Initially First Thursdays were suggested by Sig’s Lagoon owner Thomas Escalante who brought up the idea as a way to get people to the block and grow interest and awareness in the businesses surrounding The Continental Club.
Some of the changes implemented this year are curated shows and special events within each neighboring shop and restaurant to encourage visitors to not only walk the Winbern Street Market filled with local vendors, but also to pop inside the small businesses that run up and down the block.
“It really drives more foot traffic into the businesses which I think is good for everyone. It gives the businesses a boost and it also supports the non profits so I think it’s been a win win overall for the series and I expect that it will continue to do that and hopefully be able to add more to it in the fall just from seeing how well it’s gone this past season.”
For this month’s event visitors can get their live music fix starting at the registration table outside the Mid Main Lofts where DJ Boogie Soul will be spinning classic tracks. Goat Leather will be performing inside Winnie’s as the evening kicks off as well for those enjoying the delicious po-boys and cocktails the restaurant has to offer.
Beetle, the longest running residency who celebrated their 20 year anniversary this year will perform inside The Continental Club with their hardcore fanbase of Beatles lovers. Local filmmaker Jason Yu celebrated the big anniversary with the release of a short documentary about the band.
Bayou City Funk taking over the backyard where visitors can always bring in their food from nearby restaurants and enjoy their meal outside with the band. House Tiger will perform next door inside of Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge.
Inside The Fashion Time Machine, shoppers can enjoy live music from Hearts of Animals and Philosophy Stone while looking through the shops’ well curated vintage goods for men and women. My Flaming Heart will be open late with a 20% discount for attendees.
Double Trouble is finally reopened after a temporary close to remodel. The time and energy spent transforming the space was well worth the wait as the patio looks like a completely different place serving as a jungle themed reprieve from the heat and a perfect place to drink an ice cold Paloma.
One of the other changes of this season was raising the price of the event from $5 to $10, a reasonable increase which all goes to a local non profit as every month Mid Main partners with different local organizations.
“There’s just certain groups we know really well and we love to welcome them back but we do also try to sprinkle in other groups too,” explains Shultz of the selection process. “There’s so many people that are doing so many great things in Houston so we really do try to be mindful of that, branch out and try to see what else people are doing.”
This month the event will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raising money for Meredith Rice’s Woman of the Year campaign, a fundraising competition with individuals raising money for research.
In the Mid Main Gallery, visitors can also make paper flowers alongside which will be delivered to Leukemia and Lymphoma patients whose compromised immune systems do not allow them to receive fresh flowers.
Finding ways to make these events an interactive experience has really lent to the success of the series. Last month, visitors could make paper flowers to adorn one of the celebrity bikes used in the first ever Art Bike Festival presented by The Orange Show and the Houston Parks Board.
While creating the flowers, visitors will be surrounded by the visual art created by local artists Maria Elena Sandovici and Sarah Rimboch who worked together to create Places In Between, an exhibition of artwork celebrating the beauty found in everyday experiences and the importance of female friendships and support systems.
Sandovici and Rimoch met through the art world and Sandovici describes how throughout the years they have indeed supported each other in finding opportunities to not only work together but also for one another.
“We each made work that felt natural to us and we each made it separately but it does go together,” explains Sandovici. “There is an underlying theme and once we actually had fun hanging it because the gallery suggested we divide the space but we played with it so each wall has works by both of us.”
The artists did collaborate on a large piece hanging in the window of the gallery. “We want people’s eyes to be drawn to our space even when they’re out on the street,” she says of the piece.
“I like that this is a part of Houston that’s so vibrant,” she says, describing the hustle and bustle of everyday Metro rail users and visitors to the area. “It’s an urban place that encourages people to explore a little and enjoy the city so we definitely want the people on the street to see that there’s something in the gallery.”
First Thursday will take place on Thursday, June 2 at Mid Main, 3550 Main. 6 p.m., $10 benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.