When does the First Fridays Art Walk take place?
First Fridays Art Walk in Richmond, VA takes place monthly, rain or shine, on the first Friday of each month (unless moved due to a holiday conflict.) The participating venues are open various hours, and while the majority of sites are open between 6pm-10pm, visitors will find restaurants open around 5pm and some of the galleries open until midnight. Please see the individual venue listings for complete details and hours.
Are the participating venues only open during First Fridays?
No! While you may experience “one-night-only” events at times, all of the spaces open during the Art Walk are open for business during the day and/or by appointment. Check the individual listings for regular operating hours, but you can be guaranteed that the shops and galleries are open for business throughout the week and on weekends, the restaurants are serving up delicious meals for lunch and dinner and special occasions too, cultural organizations are producing theatrical performances or mounting exhibitions every month, and the finest of hotels are waiting to treat you to luxurious stay. Downtown offers a vibrant mix and culture and business every day of the week.
Where can I find information or a map about First Fridays?
You can find a map on our website or you can find one inside our seasonal guides produced through the very generous support of our Print Media Sponsor Style Weekly. The Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer and can be found inside issues of Style Weekly as well as at the participating venues, around town, and at the Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitors Center located at 3rd & Marshall Streets.
Can I set up a table and vend at First Fridays?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with the permission or permitting that allows you to be a sidewalk vendor in the City of Richmond. You must contact the City of Richmond Department of Finance to apply for a Vendors/Peddlers License, and for the “Central Business District” of which First Fridays falls, please contact 804.646.6928 to obtain a “Vendor Package” that will provide you with complete details. The cost of obtaining a Vendors License is a one-time fee of $225, plus insurance. You will be ticketed otherwise!
Details can be obtained online at:
Steps to Acquiring A Sidewalk Vendors License (from the City of Richmond's website)
Obtain commercial "liability insurance" for vending, minimum coverage of $300,000. The city of Richmond must be named as co-insured.
A Federal tax identification number is required if you are not using your social security number and can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - (866)816-2065.
Filing of Certificate of Assumed Name & Partnerships contact John Marshall Court Building (Clerk of the Circuit Court) (804)646-6530.
A Health permit is required if selling food. Contact the City of Richmond Health Department at 400 E. Cary St. (804)205-3500.
Dairy products contact Virginia Department of Agriculture (804)786-1452.
The cost of the license is $225.00, plus $50.00 for each additional stand/cart. Vendor’s license covers one calendar year January 1st to December 31st.
Please bring all required documentation to Department of Finance, Division of Tax Enforcement 900 E. Broad St. Rm 102.
After purchasing a license you will receive a plate (to be displayed on your cart/stand) while vending. The city of Richmond requires that vendor(s) must have an official photo identification on their person at all times. The badge shall include a photograph of the vendor, business name, first and last name of employee.
Renewal period - January 1st to March 1st
All vendor/peddler(s) must have current documentation of insurance, health certificate and no delinquent taxes.
To obtain a complete copy of the City Code regarding vending rules and regulations call (804)646-7000 or email Ask Finance.
Please note that all proposed physical locations in the "Central Business District" must be approved by the Department of Finance Division of Tax Enforcement prior to licensing.
What about drinking, fireworks, and animals?
If it's unlawful to do it in public, it's unlawful to do it at First Fridays and you may be ticketed!
Richmond does not have open container laws, so you cannot drink outside, so please finish any alcoholic drinks inside the establishment where you purchased it, and don't bring containers/flasks of alcohol with you. Visitors and venues must abide by laws of the State Dept of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
DO NOT BRING FIREWORKS OF ANY KIND TO FIRST FRIDAYS! Fireworks are illegal in Virginia and NOT welcomed at First Fridays.
As dictated by City of Richmond code, animals (dogs) are allowed on leashes and must be cleaned up after.
Will there be a wait to get into some of the participating sites?
It’s a great problem to have to be so popular! But unfortunately the increased attendance at First Fridays means an increase in visitors inside many of the buildings, and capacity overages at times. Recent building and fire safety enforcement by the City of Richmond now requires participating business owners and organizations to enforce their certificates of occupancy (CO), which at times will mean a limit on entrance and may cause a short wait to get in.
Everyone appreciates the public’s enthusiasm for First Fridays and for your patience in dealing with these recent turn of events. We encourage visitors to come out earlier when it’s not as busy and if you do experience a wait to please return! Survival of our local businesses and organizations depends on community support and we need everyone’s support more so than ever!