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As 'First Friday' continues its downtown comeback, many cite signs of economic rebound |

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As 'First Friday' continues its downtown comeback, many cite signs of economic rebound

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — First Friday was back downtown this week for the second time since COVID-19 shutdowns, and many have called it a sign of our local, economic rebound. 

"You hear everyone talking about Vegas coming back," First Friday attendee Ashley Watkins said. "But First Friday is where you actually see it."

So many have been waiting for the sound of music, the sound of people laughing and the smell of good food in the Arts District. 

"I think it's a really nice addition to come back," First Friday attendee Max Perea added. "It's been a long time, man."

It’s that time again! @FirstFridayLV is back in downtown Las Vegas!

This is the second time the beloved event has returned in person since pandemic shut downs. Those here say it’s a great way for businesses to bounce back after a full year of economic hardship. @8NewsNow #8NN pic.twitter.com/x3OD4YE4bc

— Sasha Loftis (@SashaLoftis) May 8, 2021

Hundreds were thrilled to return to the beloved event, but the biggest benefit was its boost to local business. 

"It was just amazing to see the crowd welcome us back," Sarah Bolden of Blazing Food Chariot said. 

Bolden told 8 News Now the last few months have been tough, and her food truck team is grateful for the opportunity. 

"Every road you go to you couldn't work," she recalled. "You couldn't do anything, so it was really hard."

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First Friday Foundation Executive Director Corey Fagan said every attending vendor was thankful for so much local loyalty over the last two months. 

"The community really came out and showed their support," Fagan said. "And really helped to stimulate a little economic growth."

As for those who came out, they called it a great way to celebrate all the fun our city can begin to offer once again. 

"It's really a nice thing to see and reengage with everyone," Watkins concluded. "That we've been missing out on for the last year."

Oh hey, it's #FirstFriday! It's at 80% capacity this evening. Food, music, art, culture, and people abound! @8NewsNow #8NN pic.twitter.com/SonfxiAD16

— Eric Jungblut (@JungblutEric) May 8, 2021

COVID-19 rules and regulations were in place at the event grounds. These included temperature checks, mask requirements and capacity limits to 250 people in the First Friday footprint area. 

Some vendors also told 8 News Now they saw even more business during May's event than they did in April 2021.