If you've never been to SouthSide Bethlehem's First Friday event, then you just HAVE to go tonight and check it out.

The SouthSide district in Bethlehem puts on an evening event that takes place the first Friday of each month. The merchants, restaurants, art galleries and other venues open their doors and invite people in with live musical performances, free drinks and nosh, and special promotions/discounts.

Here is my preferred way for experiencing First Friday:

  1. Arrive in SouthSide Bethlehem and find a parking spot, most likely in the parking lot at the building where Starters Riverport is located.
  2. Start at Banana Factory with a tour of the exhibits in their two art galleries and a walk-through of the artists' studios on the second and third floors.
  3. Head down 3rd St. to Monsoon Gallery for a look at their current exhibits.
  4. Time for a little shopping: Hit Bliss, Cleo's, Home & Planet, Clothesline Organics and Comfort & Joy.
  5. Cross 3rd St. and head back in direction from which I just came, stopping at Tallarico's for some homemade candy.
  6. Time to find a place for dinner. Nawab Indian Restaurant on 4th St. is a personal favorite. On most First Fridays the restaurants of SouthSide Bethlehem are packed, so be prepared to wait.
  7. If I have the time and energy, I head to Tally Ho for a drink or take a stroll down to Looper's Grille and Bar for one of their fancy martinis.

So... what did I miss? Give me your thoughts or suggestions on how you like to do First Friday.