Merchant Center

First Friday

EVERYONE is invited to attend Downtown York’s monthly First Friday in Historically Edgy Downtown York on December 1, 2023, presented by WellSpan Health.

Don’t Miss Out!

First Friday is a celebration of Downtown York, PA shops, restaurants, cultural venues and nightlife hot spots. From 5-9pm, downtown shops and restaurants host special events, offer refreshments and promotions, and sponsor live entertainment. As you are enjoying the First Friday happenings with your family, share your photos on Instagram and Facebook, @downtownyorkpa, #ffyork. Events and activities in BOLD are made possible this month thanks to grants from our First Friday sponsor, Wellspan Health.


Appell Center for the Performing Arts: Tab Benoit & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, 7:30pm. Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist Tab Benoit has built a remarkable 30+ year career on the foundation of his gritty and soulful Delta swamp blues, winning a devoted legion of fans on the way. Don’t miss his Appell Center debut with the return of the pioneers of the modern New Orleans brass movement, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Get tickets here.

The Blended House: Toy drive with music, food, and face painting. Also enjoy a photo booth. Meet artist, Zee Rich. 5pm-9pm

Gift Horse Brewing Company featuring Happy Camper: We’ll be pouring drinks & smashing burgers at noon. DJ Jay Starr will be joining in on the fun at 6pm. Open 12pm-12am.

Goodridge Freedom Center: This Holiday Season step into a winter wonderland that will leave you breathless. The Goodridge Freedom Center Annual Festival of Trees is a visual feast for the senses, showcasing a magnificent collection of beautifully decorated trees, each one uniquely crafted and adorned with dazzling ornaments, ribbons, and lights. As you wander through the enchanting forest of trees, let your imagination run wild and marvel at the creativity and artistry on display. 5pm-9pm on First Friday.

Keystone Kidspace: Come see us Friday during Light Up Night from 4pm-8pm in Continental Square! Keystone Kidspace is popping up on The Square (right behind the tree) hot cider, kids crafts, retail items and a kids fun pack raffle.

L&E Playhouse: Meet the Grinch! Meet your favorite bad guy of Christmas, The Grinch. Come enjoy a treat and get your picture taken with the Grinch. From 6pm-8pm The Big Green Guy will be here! L&E Playhouse presents Meet and Greet with The Grinch, where dreams merge with reality in a whimsical encounter with the grumpiest yet most lovable character of Christmas! Picture your little ones’ faces lighting up with joy as they not only meet the iconic green mischief-maker himself but also get to explore an enchanting Grinch-themed world full of surprises. But that’s not all! We have some amazing merchandise to make your experience memorable: Grinchy Goody Gift Bags: Treat yourself or a loved one to a delightful assortment of Grinch-inspired stuffed characters and trinkets, Personalized cups will be available during the event. There will be 12oz. and 20oz. insulated Grinch themed cups. You will have the option to preorder and have you or your child’s name/s engraved and pick up the item/s during the event. The Grinch will be available for photos but entry fee will be required to play indoors and participate in the crafts.

Light Up York Sponsored by WellSpan Health: Join York City Special Events in Continental Square as they light up the tree for the holiday season! The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 6pm. Check out these special events happening in and around Continental Square and make the most out of your evening downtown! Take the children to see Santa at the Yorktowne Hotel at 48 E Market St from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, visit the live reindeer in the Square between 6:30pm and 8:30pm, grab a hot cup of free coffee, teas, and hot chocolate; enjoy a Winter Wonderland by Keystone Kidspace, dance to musical performances; and stop by the York City Police Department’s gaming trailer. Christ Lutheran Church at 29 S. George St will be having a live nativity scene. York’s Continental Square is located at the intersection of Market and George Streets. Parking is nearby, including at York City garages located at 25 W. Philadelphia St. and 15 W. King St. Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow will have the pleasure of flicking the switch and reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

The King George Speakeasy: Olds Sleeper, singer songwriter, blues and folk at The King George Speakeasy. 8pm-10pm

Yorktowne Hotel: Bring the whole family and visit with Santa at The Yorktowne Hotel from 6:30pm-8:30pm!


Creatives on King: Stop by Creatives on King to create a Gourdament with Godahavom Gourds! Learn how to use beautiful alcohol inks to design a unique gourdament for $3 per ornament. All ages welcome! 6pm-8pm

The Dark Parlour: Open 5pm-9pm. New works of art from three Pennsylvania artists, restocks of Krampus catnip toys and newly stocked Gypsy-Spirits items. New candle collection release.

HIVE artspace: Join us for the opening of HIVE’s HOLIDAY BZZZAAR – a showcase of affordable mini art and unique hand-crafted gift items! So much to choose from: original artwork, ceramics, prints, cards, ornaments, stickers, t-shirts, jewelry & other artisan-created gift items! 5pm-9pm

Kate Rush Art Studio: Open from 6pm-8pm above HIVE artspace.

King’s Courtyard Artists’ Collective: Spend a special moment with family and friends creating snowflakes for us to decorate our ceiling or to take with you. This is free and includes a candy cane! King’s Courtyard Artists’Collective is your fun and unique destination for gifts and activities of all kinds. We would like to help you slow down the pace for a few moments on Friday, December 1st.

Steph Holmes Artist Studio: Explore the charm of nature-inspired art and gifts this December First Friday at Steph Holmes Artist Studio in Downtown York, PA. Experience a diverse collection featuring painted birds, insects, and mushrooms. From small and thoughtful gifts to unique, one-of-a-kind paintings, there’s a range of options for everyone. Join us for a creative celebration of nature’s beauty through art.

Venture: Venture celebrates 5 years! Join us for bubbly, bites, and small gifts from us to you! 5pm-9pm.


Central Market: Select vendors open 5pm-9pm

Market District Candy Crawl: Come along for a treat filled event! Join the merchants of the Market District for a Candy Crawl! Grab your stocking, your friends/family, and hit the crawl.

Participating businesses:
Mesa Moreira
Revolt Style Studio
Marketview Arts
House of Flowers York
The watchmakers daughter
Indigo Bleu

My Girlfriend’s Wardrobe: December First Friday Love & Threads Studio Pop Up, 5pm-9pm. Between My Girlfriend’s Wardrobe, Preston & jayne and the Love & Threads Studio pop up we have the gifts you’re looking for! Love & Threads Studio will be in store at 6pm.

Refillism: FLASH SALE ON SELECT PRODUCTS. Deals on Eco-Friendly Gifts.

Get FREE Holiday Candy at Participating Merchants.

GIVE THE GIFT OF WARMTH. Bring New or Gently Used Hats, Gloves, Scarves to be put in our ‘Free to Take’ Give Warmth Box.

Revolt Style Studio: We’ll be open 10am-9pm for December First Friday & Light Up York! With over 200 gift items to choose from, it’s easy to mix & match your own gift bundle! This year (& every year) we prioritized sustainable, small business, & vintage just for you guys! Mention this post to get free gift wrapping!


Aviano’s: Open 4:30pm-8pm, Happy Hour 4:30pm-6pm featuring $3 Peroni, $5 house wine and negroni, spritzes and sangria, and $5 off pizza/pasta/entrees

The Cantina: Christmas Pop Up Bar open 4pm-12am, $5 entry, Happy Hour 4pm-6pm (buy a drink get the taco of the day), live Christmas music from Shine Delphi 8pm-10pm

Gather 256: Open from 5pm-9pm with an exclusive dinner menu. We are BYOB and serve complimentary beer and wine while supplies last.


Parking is plentiful in Downtown York. There are 1,260 garage parking spaces and 350 on-street parking meters in our downtown area, and parking couldn’t be any easier for First Friday in Downtown York. On-street parking is free after 5pm and parking in one of the three downtown parking garages is free after 6:30pm.

Parking Garages: King Street Garage, Market Street Garage, Philadelphia Street Garage.

Free parking is also available in the Royal Square District after 5pm at the following locations: Corner lot of E. Newton Ave and S. Duke Street and E. King Street and S. Queen Street Lot (directly across from The Bond). For Collusion Tapworks Customers, parking is available in the corner lot of S. Howard Street and E. Newton Avenue (directly behind the Bond)

WeCo: Free on-street parking on West Philadelphia Street and at the Foundry Park parking lot

​Ready for more fun?

​We have events year-round! Check out our calendar.