Updated: May 5
Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance in partnership with Akron Civic Commons and Rotary Club of Akron are excited to announce the return of Kenmore First Fridays to the historic Kenmore Boulevard business district. The events will kick off June 3 with live music from the energetic honky-tonk group The Shootouts, whose third album, “Stampede,” is being produced by 10-time Grammy Award winner Ray Benson. The album will also feature special guest appearances from country legend Marty Stuart, Buddy Miller and their touring partners, Asleep at The Wheel.
Joining The Shootouts on the main stage will be local favorites and self-proclaimed “fun band” Akronauts, and additional live music will be programmed by Akron Recording Company and the youth-based nonprofit First Glance’s hip-hop program and will be sponsored by Cargill and Kenmore Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Oddmall's "The Great Grassman Gathering" will feature over 40 purveyors of art, games, toys, comics, collectables, and all things odd, geeky, bizarre, imaginative, and wonderful. Oddmall’s presence in June marks the first in a series of market partners scheduled to appear each month.
Kenmore First Fridays will take place every first Friday of the month beginning June 3 and will continue through Sept. 2. The free events will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature live music, vendors, family activities, food trucks and an outdoor beer garden with a rotating cast of breweries that include HiHo Brewing Company, Lock 15 Brewing Company and Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. See the full schedule below:
“This year, we’re celebrating the fifth anniversary of our Kenmore Better Block event, which really kick-started our community’s revitalization efforts,” said Tina Boyes, executive director of Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance. “Since then, we’ve added more than $1.5 million in new investment, an historic district and 12 new businesses along Kenmore Boulevard, many of which support our budding music economy. And the growth can be attributable in part to events like Kenmore First Friday. So, this year we’re bringing in bigger bands, adding a new street stage, and partnering with well-known market partners to celebrate that and encourage people to come back.”
Kenmore First Fridays are FREE and presented by Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, Akron Civic Commons and Rotary Club of Akron, with additional support from Cargill, Kenmore Chamber of Commerce, Kenmore Komics & Games, The City of Akron, The Summit FM, Akron Promise, Evolve Marketing, Fastenal, KeyBank, Portage Path Behavioral Health, Prentice Funeral Homes, Lowry Heating & Cooling, Thomas C. Loepp Law Offices, and AkronBuzz. Event information will be posted as it becomes available at betterkenmore.org/first-friday.
Photos by Power Photography