Want a perfectly good excuse to check out the Arts District’s newest lounge while supporting a terrific cause? Then you’ll want to buy tickets now for the First Friday Las Vegas Summer Fundraiser being held this Thursday, June 23 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Lady Silvia (900 S. Las Vegas Blvd. on first floor of SoHo Lofts).
For only $20 (in advance), you’ll get complimentary “signature” cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while bidding on great art and gift packages donated by local artists and businesses, with all proceeds benefiting Whirlygig, Inc., the nonprofit organization that puts on the monthly First Friday art walk and street festival.
Say what you will about First Friday — there’s ongoing debate about its growth from an art-oriented event to a giant street party — but there is no denying that month after month, no other single force draws SO MANY bodies into the Arts District at one time to enjoy live music, patronize businesses and get out of the suburbs. Whether or not actual art is selling in galleries on that night is irrelevant (but it is, at least out of my wallet!). The mere fact that tens of thousands of people flood the streets around Main Street and Charleston Boulevard for hours on end every First Friday has enabled more and more businesses to open, draw new fans and thrive in the days and evenings between events, and that is something that would not have happened if not for the success of First Friday.
But as someone who has known the hard-working (and oft-maligned) organizers of the event for a long time, I can say if you’ve even attended First Friday once, you’ve reaped the benefits of a lot of others’ sacrifices for the cost of almost nothing, and much like consuming all that public radio programming for “free,” this is the perfect opportunity to give back and say “thanks.” I’ll be there, likely bidding on more art I don’t have room for, so come down and have a cocktail with me. The drunker we get, the higher we’ll bid.