September First Fridays: Dog Days of Summer

Downtown South Bend will be going to the dogs for the September First Fridays, as we celebrate the "Dog Days of Summer." Bring your furry friend downtown for a fun night out! 

Over 25 booths will line Michigan Street filled with animal rescue groups, animal nonprofits, and groups who provide goods and services for animals. There will be a doggy fashion show, an ugly dog contest, and 4-H will give an agility demonstration. Dine with your dog at one of our pet-friendly patios, or take a horse-drawn wagon ride with your pet!

In addition to pet-friendly activities, there will be plenty for humans to do as well, like attend the architectural walking tour, SBMA exhibitions, or First Fridays Latin Dance party. Find out these details and more below!

Transpo will be offering FREE shuttle rides on one of their new CNG buses from 5:00 to 9:00 pm., and just last month they launched  their new shuttle route, which includes the South Bend Museum of Art! Click here for a map of the new shuttle route. Transpo shuttle service will pass each stop approximately every 15 minutes. 

The shuttle service now has First Fridays Tour Guides! They will tell you all about the different activities and promotions that are taking place downtown at First Fridays, as well give general info about the downtown businesses, mixed with historical tidbits and fun facts. Grab a seat on the new First Fridays Transpo Tour, and enjoy the informative ride! If you're interested in being a First Fridays Tour Guide, click here for more information.

Dog Days Booths and Activities

Booths, Fashion Show, Agility Demonstrations and more!

This year's Dog Days of Summer Event will contain over 25 booths filled with animal rescue groups, and organizations who provide goods & services to dogs. In addition, there will be a doggie fashion show, agility course, and a rally. Click here for a map (also posted below the booth activity listings.) Read on for more details!

The Dog Days of Summer “Adopt Don’t Shop” Fashion Show

7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Please join us for the First Annual “Adopt Don’t Shop” Fashion Show, with celebrity host Vahid Sadrzadeh of ABC 57! Local animal shelters and rescues are a wonderful place to find your next furry friend. Our fashion show will feature happy hounds adopted from local groups and their human companions wearing fashions provided by Resale to the Rescue. Resale to the Rescue is an upscale not for profit resale store in Mishawaka that financially assists local animal rescue organizations.

4-H Dog Club Agility Demonstrations

6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The St. Joseph County 4-H Dog Club will be presenting two agility demonstrations on the Gridiron. Agility courses are designed to demonstrate a dog's athletic ability and willingness to work with his handler through strategy, skill, accuracy, speed, timing and distance handling through a fast-paced obstacle course. This is a timed event where dogs and handlers navigate through the obstacle course while completing required course tasks and obstacles.

Interactive Rally Obedience Course

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., ongoing except during agility demonstrations

Have you ever thought that your dog might be an agility champion in the making? The Rally obedience course is a fun, dog sport based on obedience. Unlike with traditional obedience, handlers are allowed to encourage their dogs during the course. Stop by the course to see if your pup is an agility champion in the “ruff”!

PetSmart Ugly Dog Contest

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Visit the Pet Smart booth at the Gridiron to enter your dog into the Ugly Dog Contest. The winning dog will receive a free day spa.

Dog Days of Summer Booths

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
various locations

Over 25 different animal rescue groups and organizations who provide goods & services to animals will be located throughout downtown this First Fridays. A map of which groups will be there will be coming soon!

4-H Dog Club: agility demonstrations and rally course (see above)
Bittersweet Pet Resort & Stables: spin the wheel to win prizes
Bunk and Biscuit: handing out information on their dog and cat facilities
Camp K9 Doggie Daycare: handing out a freebie
CARE South Bend/Michelle Rink, Realtor, CBRWG: will be giving away tennis balls and treats to the dogs, candy for the kids and will have water bowls available.
Clayview Animal Clinic: client education, treats for animals and humans, bandanas 
Frantz L. Dantzler Friends for Life Fund, Inc.: free treats for people and dogs, t-shirts for sale, providing educational info
FurEver Fosters: Adoptable dogs, face painting and photobooth
Heartland Small Animal Rescue: will have volunteer-made pet beds & pet toys for sale, baked goods sale, & adoptable animals
Humane Society of St. Joseph County: will have adoptable dogs, educational and financial resources, magnets and t-shirts for sale
Humane Society of the United States: will have information on programs and other information; candy for the kids and treats for the dogs
International Veterinary Care, Inc.: selling wildlife artwork
M & S Handmade Designs: dog beds, blankets, cuddle bags, bandanas, aprons
Midwest Assistance Dogs, Inc.: will have demonstrations with some of their dogs.
Mixed Up Mutts, Inc.: will have adoptable dogs, and an activity
Morris Animal Foundation/Golden Retriever Lifetime Study: information about the study, free food-serving cups, pens and more
Nanaz Pawz: will be selling dog treats and items for pets including clothes, toys ,etc.
PAL/PBSB (Pet Assistance League/Pit Bull South Bend): paw print art and doggie art
Pawsitively Gorgeous: nail trims, tooth brushing, and bows, bandanas
Pet Refuge: will have Pet Refuge merchandise, dog and cat merchandise, and Plinko game
PetSmart: Ugly Dog Contest (see above); tennis balls, bandanas, treats, coupons, pet expressions and more will be available, as well as a bean bag toss game to win a prize
Reigning Cat and Dogs: will have adoptable dogs and a kissing both with a very friendly dog to smooch for a dollar
Resale to the Rescue, Inc.: Activity TBD
South Bend Animal Care and Control: adoptable dogs and information on programs that SBACC provides
South Bend Lost and Found Pets: face painting, merchandise, microchipping and nail clipping
Vet Tech Coach: collar exchange program - will exchange the first 20 visitors from their choke collar, prong collar or shock collar with a non-aversive harness alternative that their dog will love and will help minimize pulling (10 medium and 10 large sizes will be available on a first-come first-serve basis)

2017 Dog Days of Summer Map

Click image to expand to larger PDF!

Entertainment & Activities

Happy Tails Waggin' Rides

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
by Chocolate Cafe

Take your dog on a horse-drawn wagon ride on the Happy Tails Waggin' Ride from Dream Coach Carriages. 15-minute rides are just $2 per person (dogs ride free!) Pick up and drop off takes place right outside the South Bend Chocolate Cafe, and tickets go on sale shortly before 6:00 p.m. Don’t have a dog?  No problem! You can ride with a rescue dog (details where you purchase tickets.)

Fall Exhibition Receptions at South Bend Museum of Art

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
120 South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Visit the South Bend Museum of Art for an evening of art and mingling as they celebrate their four current exhibitions. Admission is free! Gallery talks will be held at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and refreshments will be provided by Granite City Food & Brewery. Click here for more information.

Latin Dancing in Studebaker Plaza

8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Studebaker Plaza (southwest corner of Jefferson and Michigan)

South Bend Latin Dance will be hosting their last First Fridays outdoor dance of the summer in Studebaker Plaza. Visiting instructor and social dance enthusiast Imaan Taghavi will be joining them for the kick-off lesson and will also be DJing the event. Beginner lesson is at 8:30 p.m., with open dancing to follow until 11:00 p.m. Enjoy salsa, bachata, merengue and more under the stars!  Drinks available at the Whiskey Exchange adjacent. All ages. $5 cover.

Then & Now: A Downtown South Bend Architectural Walking Tour

5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
American Trust Company clock (corner of Washington and Michigan)

A fun and informative guided walking tour of South Bend landmark buildings, exploring their history and present day use. Cost for these 90-minute tours are just $2/person. Reservations can be made online by clicking here or by calling 574-282-1110. Tours meet at 5:00 p.m. at the American Trust Company clock, located at the corner of Washington and MIchigan, in front of Cafe Navarre.
Note: This will be the last regular downtown architectural walking tour of 2017. The October tour will be back in the Historic West Washington District like it was in July and August.

Laura Whidden at South Bend Chocolate Cafe

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
122 S. Michigan St.

Laura Whidden will be performing a free concert at the South Bend Chocolate Cafe from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Also take advantage of their First Fridays special: 2 for $17 any crunch/pretzel combo. 

Lalo Cura CD Release at Vegetable Buddies

9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
129 N Michigan St.

Head to Vegetable Buddies for the offiical release of Sueños, the brand new record from Lalo Cura. They are proud of this release and want nothing more than to share it with everyone! Letters From Earth will kick the night off at 9:00 p.m. followed by Lalo Cura. Its going to be a great night of music in downtown South Bend. What better way to kick off a 3 day weekend? Come out early for a great dinner and to make sure you get a good seat. Doors open at 4:00 p.m.  21+, $8 cover.

Kennedy's Kitchen at Fiddler's Hearth

9:00 p.m. to midnight
127 N. Main St.

Enjoy free live music at Fiddler's Hearth by local Irish band Kennedy's Kitchen from 9:00 p.m. to midnight every First Fridays!

Menagerie Show at at Fire Arts

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
305 E. Colfax Ave.

Fire Arts, Inc. invites the public to an exhibit of work created by the resident artists of Fire Arts that celebrates our world's creatures, real and imagined. Come view the many bronze, clay, stone, wood, plaster, and papier mache sculptures, along with jewelry, pottery, and enamel pieces celebrating this theme. This exhibit will run September 1 through October 27, with an opening reception during the September First Fridays.  

Historic Hoffman Hotel Tours

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
120 W. LaSalle Ave. 

The Hoffman Hotel Apartments will offer free tours of their renovated historic apartment spaces, along with free refreshments. The tours will be given every half hour (5:00, 5:30, 6:00, etc.)

Tour the Golden Roamer: Mobile Visitor Center

4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Studebaker Plaza

The Golden Roamer is a 24-foot recreational vehicle complete with brochures for visitors detailing the area’s offerings as well as satellite TV, and more. It will be parked near Studebaker Plaza, and you are invited to go inside and explore.

Free Dog Nail Trims in front of Chicory Cafe

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
105 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Chicory Cafe will be hosting For Pet's Sake in front of their business, who will be offering free dog nail trims at their table. Plus, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., take advantage of their regular First Fridays promotion of $1.50 one scoop gelato, and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $6.00. Valerie Ingle will also be performing a free concert from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Free Wooden Dog Bone Craft from Montessori Academy Edison Lakes

5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Montessori Academy Edison Lakes will be offering a free craft project for kids in keeping with the Dog Days of Summer theme. They will have wooden dog bones for kids to color at their booth at the Gridiron from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Food & Drink Specials

Pet-Friendly Patios

Dine with your furry friend at any of these downtown pet-friendly patios:

Bruno's 131 S. Michigan St.
Chicory Cafe 105 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Fiddler's Hearth 127 N. Main St.
Le Peep 127 S. Michigan St.
South Bend Brew Werks 216 S. Michigan St.
South Bend Chocolate Cafe 122 S. Michigan St.
Tapastrie 103 W. Colfax Ave.
Vegetable Buddies 129 N. Michigan St.
Woochi 123 W. Washington St.

Spent Grain Dog Treats at Brew Werks

5:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
216 S. Michigan St.

South Bend Brew Werks is always dog-friendly on their the patio. They will be giving out spent grain dog treats made by their chef, will have a water bowl outside. Also Nick Steinhofer will be performing there from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

$10 Gift Certificates at Edible Arrangements with Dog Food Donation

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
123 S. Michigan St.

Edible Arrangements will be giving out doggie bags with treats, and will have a water station. For the humans, they will have samples (one shaped like a doggie bone), $1.99 special on a strawberry kale smoothies, and their usual First Fridays special of 50% off a box of dipped fruit (pick-up only.) Additionally, if you bring in a bag of dog food, you will get a $10 gift certificate. The dog food will be distributed to local animal nonprofit groups in need of donations.

Dine with your Dog at Woochi and get 10% Off

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
123 W. Washington St.

Woochi will be offering 10% off to guests who dine with their four-legged friends on their pet-friendly patio. Also take advantage of their ongoing First Fridays special of a 3-course dinner for only $22 or $33. 10% of sales will be donated to a voted charity. 

Special Dinner Hours at Le Peep

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
127 S. Michigan St. 

Take advantage of special dinner hours at Le Peep this First Fridays, as well as their pet-friendly patio.

Martin's Food Truck at Studebaker Plaza

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Studebaker Plaza 

Check out some unique eats at the Martin's Side Street Deli food truck that will be at Studebaker Plaza this First Fridays.

Specials on Retail & Services

Free Dog Massages at Therapeutic Indulgence

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
903 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Therapeutic Indulgence will be offering free dog massages on a first come, first served basis this First Fridays, on the lawn behind their building. Dogs must be leashed and accompanied by an adult over 18. Dogs also must be up to date on their vaccines. Dog owners will be asked to sign a brief waiver giving the therapists consent to massage their dogs. Plus, take advantage of their usual First Fridays special of 20% off gift cards.

DTSB's South Bend Merchandise on the Gridiron 

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  
Downtown South Bend will be selling their new South Bend branded merchandise at the merchandise tent on the Gridiron. Show your South Bend pride by purchasing a soft, vintage-feel t-shirt, hat, button or postcards. Merchandise is also always available for purchase at the DTSB offices located at 217 S. Michigan St. during business hours (8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.).

Paw Print Project at The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery

5:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.
217 S. Michigan St.

Bring your doggy to The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery and make a customized dog paw print ornament! This one-of-a-kind gift will be cherished for years. Only $10 bucks and include clay, glaze and two firings. They will also have clay cookies available to paint outside for $5 each. They also just received their first round of Halloween/Fall inventory. It's stocked and ready to paint!

Free Dog Treats & Water Station at Idle Hours Bookshop

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
212 S. Michigan St.

Idle Hours Bookshop will be handing out dog treats and will have a doggie water station alongside their sale table.

Jewelry & Craft Sale by Dismas Designs

5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Studebaker Plaza

Dismas House is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 to provide transitional housing and support services to men and women who have been recently released from incarceration. Through Dismas Designs, a social enterprise of Dismas House, residents are trained to make bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and other crafts. This gives residents a “second chance” and empowers them to develop their artisan and business skills for future employment. All of the profits from Dismas Designs are used to benefit Dismas House and its residents. 

75% Off Summer Styles at Ali on the Boulevard

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
722 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Bring your pup to Ali on the Boulevard, where there will be a water station outside, and 75% off summer styles inside.

Friends of the Library Book Sale 

4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
333 S. Michigan St.

Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults at the Friends of the Library's First Fridays Book Sale from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.



Baker's Bar & Grill

123 N. St. Joseph St. 
Buy one appetizer, get one 50% off.


713 E. Jefferson Blvd.
$4 pints every First Fridays; also featuring a First Saturdays special each month: any large 2 topping pizza, an order of breadsticks, and a pitcher of pop (or a 2 liter on carry out orders) for only $19.95 plus tax. 


131 S. Michigan St.
Get one 14" 1-topping pizza for $12

Chicory Cafe

105 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Live music, $1.50 one scoop gelato, and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $6.00

Edible Arrangements

123 S. Michigan St.
50% off a box of dipped fruit (pick-up)

South Bend Brew Werks

216 S. Michigan St.
New seasonal beer release 

South Bend Chocolate Cafe

122 S. Michigan St.
2 for $17 any crunch/pretzel combo

Therapeutic Indulgence

903 E. Jefferson
20% off gift cards

Tippecanoe Place

620 W. Washington St.
1/2 price appetizers In the Studebaker Lounge or Patio


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