Coating of snow greeted First Friday in downtown Dover

DOVER — A little bit of snow added a whole lot of character to Dover’s First Friday event that kicked off February inside downtown Dover stores and restaurants last week.

Despite a one-and-a-half-inch white coating of snow to roads and sidewalks in the capital city , retailers were open for business on a chilly First Friday.

It’s all about consistency, and having the community know the monthly downtown event is going to take place snow, rain or shine, according to Downtown Dover Partnership Executive Director Diane Laird.

“Downtown Dover will be ‘alive at five, snow or shine’ on First Fridays unless we are in a state of emergency,” she said. “Consistency breeds success.”

Tom Smith, of The Delaware Store on South State Street, acknowledged Dover’s propensity to remain inside when wintry weather strikes.

“Alas, this is Dover and snow scares us,” Mr. Smith. “If this was Chicago there would be five thousand people on the street … what snow? We are having fun here!”

Kristin Stonesifer, owner of the House of Coffi, said that around 50 percent more people came into her shop on the east end of Loockerman Street than she had anticipated as she combined a “Waves Don’t Die” photography exhibit with the First Friday event.

A total of 16 shops featured musicians who included: Bill Trench at Bel Boutique, Tom Hench at Forney’s Too, Earl Reed at Simaron Pizza and Steak Shop, Two Roosters and a Hen at The Loocke, Roving Poet Lyndsey Collison in various stores throughout the evening, and many others.

Barry Wiseman and Michelle Strand came down from Middletown to see the musicians and, while in town, had dinner at 33 West Ale House. “That snow made it look awesome,” Ms. Strand said. They said they will be back next month to enjoy another First Friday.

Marie Williamson, who was driving people to and from different locations downtown aboard the Jolly Trolley, said, “I love being a part of First Fridays. It has been a lot of fun for me.”

As part of last Friday’s activities, the Downtown Dover Partnership warmed things up indoors as it kicked off the painting of a community mural at Longwood Hall with Wesley College President Bob Clark, Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, Art Professor Josh Nobiling and a host of children and adults from the community.

Across the hall from the mural painting, the Wesley Science Club hosted “Get Your STEM On,” featuring free hands-on science experiments for young students. Both of the activities will be available on future First Fridays and the public is invited to help continue painting the mural on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at Wesley College.

The next First Friday event will take place on March 1 and will again feature musicians and artists, as well as the free-to-ride, hop-on hop-off Jolly Trolley bus.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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