First Friday - NOT just a Run of the Mill [Street] Event
by Cate Murway

“Time constricts and flattens. It’s not evenly weighted. Certain moments linger in the mind…...”

The quaint, historic riverfront town of Bristol Borough is hosting First Friday events through September 4th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Mill Street, making an ideal early start to the weekend. Last Friday, July 3rd was “Another successful ‘First Friday’. Kudos once again to the organizers!! Wonderful to see all the people on Mill Street and down by the Wharf”, confirmed Anna Larrisey.

“What a great turnout. And yes, amazing job by all involved. Special thanks to Shea Wendowski Cialella!” Robert Strasser noted, with a resolute “ditto ditto!” from Bruce Lowe, co-owners/hosts of the Historic King George II Inn established in 1765 with its incredibly picturesque outdoor Beer Garden, created specifically for the event, including beer specials.

“This is the first year,” said Shea, the administrative coordinator for the Bristol Borough Business Association [BBBA] which hosts the event.

....Friday night in the Park….. think it was the third of July…..

Historic Bristol on the Delaware is always worth a pause during your journey, wherever you’re headed, even in these idyllic summer days [and nights]! Bristol Borough proudly maintains its local character in a celebratory, art-centric atmosphere. The early evening, authentic old-fashioned community street party was made up of more than 100 exhibitors, providing an eclectic marketplace of hand-made creations, crafts, prepared foods, food trucks, snacks and cold drinks, and even fresh produce, bringing an extra shot of adrenaline to an all-ages crowd-pleaser. 

An assortment of special FREE FAMILY-FUN ENTERTAINMENT included live music and performances by the Stepping Stone Dance Studio dancers and the Bristol High Drama Club on the town wharf.
Some opted to participate in an ongoing one-of-a-kind community mosaic project, designed by artist Patsy Buchanan and the completed project will be donated to the Bristol Borough Area Active Adult Center; while others were delighted and enchanted by the street performers, a magician, a face painter, a caricaturist, a balloon sculpturist, a quick sketch artist or the hula hoopists. 

The town's artistry spilled out onto the sidewalks. Many selected the ART WALK along with tours of the newly opened Bristol Borough Center for the Arts. A varied array of hands-on activities included Kids’ 1-hour Art Classes with Penelope Fox Art for only $15.00, and ART-Tini offered a little bit of paint and a whole lot of fun, including a selection of original paintings for sale, as well as discounted gift cards.


Street fairs often start as small community events but they grow because people actually have fun.

In addition, First Fridays are great face-to-face key events, perfect for all attending to gather information and an ideal venue to promote the town itself. Non-profits and a handful of local companies kept the visitors/guests in the know.
The local stores lining this original “shop local” stretch do give the neighborhood its uniqueness, adding character and diversity to the community. Crowds took a saunter down this memory lane swathe and relived those sweet reminiscences of the good old days, enjoying the quirky signs and the freshly roasted and brewed Calm Waters coffee not made from a trucked-in mix.

Part of the local appeal is that the merchants offer a less frenzied venue and a smile…. always a smile!

The gorgeous waterfront Bristol Lion's Park, complete with a Victorian gazebo and park benches, ethnic monuments and unequaled views of the Delaware River, beckoned all who attended. This hidden treasure is dazzling and exudes a just right breath of vitality for those taking advantage of a leisurely stress relieving sunset stroll.

Historic Bristol on the Delaware is a prime small town ambiance location so near to the SEPTA regional rail line, within two miles of I-95 and the PA Turnpike, less than a mile from PA Route 13, and mere minutes from Philadelphia and Trenton. It’s quaint and unhurried, much less hectic than neighboring towns and it boasts a distinct charm of its own! 
It truly is a POT OF GOLD at the end of the rainbow.

The town's excellent restaurants with romantic settings harmoniously entice one to a much longer stay than may have been planned.

Remarkable history and picturesque scenery, and the restaurants that overlook water are all wonderful, but it is the people who make it special. It’s all about connections. Traditions connect the community. You’ll feel it at every corner.
Visit historic Bristol on the Delaware for another healthy dose of small town America.
Hit the pavement on August 7th for the next much-anticipated Bristol Borough Business Association First Friday Street Fair.
Ample free parking in the Mill Street Parking Lot.

Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail

  Wes Lowe