Business owners in downtown Doylestown are rolling out the welcome mat for shoppers and visitors Friday, just as many of them have done on the first Friday of every month for the past eight years.
It's not First Friday Doylestown, but it might be close.
Many downtown shops have special events planned for tonight to try to keep spirit of First Friday alive, said Jeanell Morgan, who owns the Monkey's Uncle boutique on East State Street.
Among the events planned for Friday night are:
- Fall Open House at Hen's Teeth and Chris' Cottage
- Fire Prevention Open House at Doylestown Fire Company
- Free First Friday Fun at Busy Bee Toys
- Friday Night Live: Teen Night (7th-9th graders) at the Y
- Book Release Party with Tiffany Schmidt at Doylestown Bookshop
- Wine & Chocolate Tasting at Nuts Plus Sweets and Treats
- at School of Rock, Doylestown
The organizers of First Friday Doylestown ended the monthly event abruptly in September, saying they were nearing the point where they would have to pay for police overtime and could not afford to do so.
Running in the early evening hours, First Friday required supplemental police protection, the cost of which was tracked by the borough in recent years. A few years ago, the borough agreed to waive the first $7,500 in costs, but First Friday would have to pay for police services beyond that.
Borough manager John Davis said last month that the group had used about $7,100 of that allotment, and the September First Friday would have generated a bill for the group for the first time ever.
With the official First Friday Doylestown organization disbanded, it looks as if the police overtime costs will remain with the borough.
On Thursday, Doylestown Borough Police Lt. Pat Penecale said his department planned no reductions to its staffing on Friday nights.
"We haven’t changed our routine at all," Penecale said. "We’ll bring in extra people and keep doing what we do."