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Why You Should Go to First Friday at Tallahassee’s Railroad Square Art District

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

During my first semester as a transfer student, one of the first events that my friends took me to was First Friday. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was much more fun than I thought. Surprisingly, not many people know what it is, and even most of those who know have not gone. So, here’s why you should go!

As the name suggests, First Friday is a festival that happens on the first Friday of every month at the Railroad Square Art District from 6 to 9 p.m. While I found out about it through my friends, the Art District website lists all of their upcoming events and provides more information.

When I said that I didn’t know what to expect when it came to the festival, I wasn’t kidding. I was surprised by the amount of unique and creative businesses there. One night is not enough to explore the entirety of it well.

The first place I explored was the thrift store that’s right by the entrance. It’s a big warehouse divided into two sections: home goods and clothes. Just a warning: It can be a little overwhelming, but there are so many good finds that make it worth it.

Another place I explored at the festival was a bookstore, but not just any typical bookstore. It’s filled with shelves of used books, has a cute little boutique, and is home to a bunch of adorable cats. So not only do you get to shop, but you also get to hang out with cute cats! The best part is that the cats are all up for adoption, so if you want to give them a loving home, you absolutely can.

Besides thrift stores and cat bookstores, there are various food places. When I went, I only tried one place called Ryders Water Ice. It was the first time that I’d ever heard about water ice, but it was utterly delicious. It’s like the love child between ice cream and a slushie. That’s it. That’s the best way I can describe it. The place has so many flavors: I tried green apple, mango, and strawberry lemonade; they were all incredible. Now, I go to First Friday mainly to eat their water ice.

First Friday offers many diverse businesses and activities, such as a cult cinema, non-profit theatre, and art galleries. I’ve even seen a stand where people can go and speak with scientists. There’s a little bit of everything. It’s also super fun to observe people there. So many of them slay with their outfits, so I like to look around and get fashion inspiration from them. I just think that it’s such a relaxed event where you get to feel comfortable expressing yourself however you want.

I feel like all of us who live in Tallahassee can agree that there aren’t a huge amount of things to do here. Activities can become routine very easily and it can get boring pretty fast. That’s why you should grab some friends and break the routine by going to First Friday. Explore something unique, support your local businesses, and have fun!

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Maria Tello is a staff writer at the Her Campus at Florida State University chapter. She became a member of Her Campus in the spring of 2024. She writes about relevant cultural news, lifestyle articles, and about campus life at Florida State. Maria is a transfer student from the Republic of Panama campus. She has participated in many conferences, such as the Harvard Association for Cultivating Inter-American (HACIA) Democracy, winning various awards for her role in the press committee. As a member of the Press Committee, Maria was involved in writing articles, organizing her school’s debate conferences, and managing several social media platforms. Currently, she is a junior at FSU double-majoring in English (Editing, Writing, and Media) and International Affairs. In her leisure time, Maria spends most of her time reading books. Her favorite genres are Fantasy, Romance, Classic Lit, and Poetry. She loves to listen to diverse genres of music, and her favorite group is BTS. To center herself, she enjoys going to the gym, and arts and crafts such as painting. Her favorite artists are Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco Goya. She is also a Harry Potter and Greek mythology aficionado. She can speak Spanish, English, Cantonese, basic Korean, and looks forward to learning more languages.