May First Fridays: May the 4th Be With You

About May First Fridays

Downtown South Bend will be celebrating the unofficial holiday of May 4th with a Star Wars-themed First Fridays. Take your picture with costumed Star Wars characters, test drive a futuristic vehicle, and wear your own Star Wars costume or clothing to compete in a contest at Chicory Cafe.

Also enjoy the return of the downtown Architectural Walking Tours, live music, a Shrimp & Crawfish Boil at Chicory Cafe, an art exhibit reception at the South Bend Museum of Art, and much more. Check out all the details below!

Discover the details below!

Free Parking

Parking (on-street and in DTSB-managed garages) is always free in downtown South Bend nights and weekends. For this First Fridays, please note that the Main Street Garage will be charging event parking due to the Kinky Boots show at the Morris Performing Arts Center. However the Leighton and Wayne Street Garages will still be free of charge.

For full details on downtown parking options, click here.

As always, Transpo will be offering FREE shuttle rides on one of their new CNG buses from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. Click here for a map of the 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.

Entertainment & Activities

Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Near the Gridiron

Celebrate this futuristic First Fridays with free electric vehicle test drives. Get behind the wheel of all-electric vehicles like the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Bolt, Chevy Spark, and maybe a Tesla! Plug-in hybrid vehicles may include the Toyota Prius Prime, Chevy Volt, Honda Clarity, Kia Niro, and Chrysler Pacifica.

Discuss the benefits of driving electric with dealers & local EV owners. If local EV owners wish to bring their vehicle for display, email [email protected] A valid driver’s license will be required to test drive vehicles.

This event is brought to you by: MACOG Partners for Clean Air, South Bend Sustainability Office, Downtown South Bend, South Shore Clean Cities, and Midwest Evolve.

Photos with Stars Wars Characters

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
Studebaker Plaza

Members of the Northern Darkness Garrison – the northern Indiana chapter of the 501st Legion – will be at Studebaker Plaza for photos, wearing movie-quality Star Wars costumes.

Star Wars Costume Contest and live music at Chicory

6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
105 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Chicory Cafe will be hosting a Star Wars costume contest starting from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with registration at 5:45 p.m. Space will be limited to the first 12 entries in each of the two age categories: Kids (12 & under) and Adults (13 & over) (Note – these categories may shift based on the number of entries per age group.) Winners will receive Chicory Cafe gift cards. From 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., enjoy free live music by J & J Smoothtones.

Star Wars Photo Booth 

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
DoubleTree atrium

The DoubleTree will be hosting a Star Wars-themed Photo Booth in their atrium, with a full size cardboard cut-out of Boba Fett. They will also be handing out cookies, and will have their pop-up coffee bar set up with coffee, and other drinks for purchase. Also take advantage of the First Fridays special at Baker’s, located inside the DoubleTree: buy one appetizer, get one 50% off.

Star Wars Balloons at NDFCU

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
210 S. Michigan St.

Notre Dame Federal Credit Union‘s mascot Dollar Dog will be passing out free Star Wars balloons, and there will also be light sabers to play with.

Fire Hooping Performance

8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Studebaker Plaza

Dana of WonderFlow Hoop Co. will be performing a fire hoop routine at Studebaker Plaza, dressed as the Star Wars character Rey.

Downtown South Bend Architectural Walking Tour

5:30 pm to 7:00 p.m.
American Trust Company clock (corner of Washington and Michigan)
Enjoy a fun and informative guided walking tour of South Bend landmark buildings, exploring their history and present day use. Tours are given by the Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend & St. Joseph County. Cost for these 90-minute tours are just $4/person (cash only.) Space is limited so reservations are recommended; click here to reserve your spot. Tours meet at 5:30 p.m. at the American Trust Company clock, located at the corner of Washington and MIchigan, in front of Cafe Navarre.

Exhibition Reception at South Bend Museum of Art

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
120 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The South Bend Museum of Art will be holding a reception for their new exhibitition “Voyage: The Art of Alan Larkin,” with an artist talk from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Larkin’s paintings, drawings and prints embrace the dramatic spotlighting techniques of Dutch 17th Century painters; capture the mystery of the Magic Realists; and evoke the romance of the Pre-Raphaelites. Enjoy complimentary refreshments, free admission, and 10% off purchases in SBMA gift shop – The Dot Shop.

E-Bike and E-Scooter Test Rides

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Gridiron

Representatives from Lime Bike will be at the Gridiron with their new e-bikes and e-scooters for people to try out. Riders must be 18+ to ride the scooters, and 16+ to ride the e-bikes.

Latin Dance at WXYZ Bar 

8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
111 N. Main St.

South Bend Latin Dance – the same group that you see in Studebaker Plaza during the summer First Fridays – have moved to their new indoor First Fridays location at the WXYZ Bar in the new Aloft Hotel. This geat new South Bend venue offers a beautiful welcoming environment, full bar, food options, and more. Dance to salsa, bachata, merengue and all the usual groove-gettin’ Latin jams. All ages, $5 cover, everyone welcome. Lesson at 8 p.m. followed by open dancing; and head to Cinco 5 afterward to continue the party!

Latin Dance Party at Cinco 5

10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
112 W. Colfax Ave.

The Latin dancing continues at Cinco 5, where they will be playing bachata, salsa, cumbia, merengue, and more. 21+ only; $3 cover after 11:00 p.m..

Two-Year Anniversary Tiki Party at Vegetable Buddies

5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
129 N Michigan St.

Vegetable Buddies will be celebrating their two-year anniverary with a Tiki party featuring Tiki cocktails, an island-inspired menu, and a concert by Hurricane Reggae Band. Wear a Hawaiian shirt and get a free lei. Come out early for a great dinner and to make sure you get a good seat. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.  21+, $10 cover after 9pm.

Kinky Boots at Morris Performing Arts Center

8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
211 N. Michigan St.

Kinky Boots comes to the Morris Performing Arts Center with shows on May 4, 5, and 6. Kinky Boots is Broadway’s huge-hearted, high-heeled hit! With songs by Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind.

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. Laura will be performing pop/rock selections mixed with her own song creations. The Chocolate Cafe will also be handing out finger lights to kids, and will have cardboard cutouts of Chewbacca and Darth Vader for photo ops. Also take advantage of their First Fridays special: 2 for $17 any crunch/pretzel combo.

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!

Tours of the Historic Hoffman Hotel

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
120 W. LaSalle Ave. 

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

Live Music at LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern

5:00 p.m. to midnight
115 W. Colfax Ave.

Enjoy two free live shows at LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern this First Fridays: Cambrae from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Lalo Cura from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.

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 (corner of Jefferson and Michigan) and you are invited to go inside and explore.

HealthWorks! Program 

5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Studebaker Plaza

HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum will be doing a program for kids called “Your Amazing Body” at Studebaker Plaza.

Food & Drink Specials

Shrimp & Crawfish Boil at Chicory

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
105 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Chicory Cafe will be hosting another of its famous Shrimp & Crawfish Boil this First Fridays. Each order will receive crawfish (cooked right in front of you!), shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob, and andouille sausage. Enjoy it there or take it to go.
-$16 Shrimp & Crawfish Boil Entree (8 crawfish, 8 shrimp)
-$16 Crawfish Boil Entree (16 crawfish)
-$20 Shrimp Boil Entree (20 shrimp)
Also, take advantage of the Chicory First Fridays specials: $1.50 one scoop gelato, and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $5.00.

$4 Beers & Bantha Milk Ice Cream at Brew Werks

12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
216 S. Michigan St.

South Bend Brew Werks will be celebrating “May the 4th Be With You” with $4 beers and Bantha milk ice cream. They will also be featuring their Beer of the Month – the Citra Illuminator – which will be benefitting the Riverlights Music Festival.

Star Wars Themed Drinks at The General

7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
609 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Celebrate May 4th with Star Wars themed drinks at The General Cafe & Deli on both their cafe and bar side. “Choose your side” at the cafe from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., where they will be serving three drinks from the light side and three drinks from the dark side. Stop in to their bar side and try “Death Star in the Afternoon” and “Ewok Elixir” specialty cocktails for $7, from 4 p.m. to close.

Hops with History at Tippecanoe Place

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
620 W. Washington St.

Tippecanoe Place is introducing a new craft beer tasting event series- Hops with History – featuring local breweries with craft beer inspired appetizers. These will take place the first Friday and Saturday of the month, February through May. Each event in the series will have a presentation of craft beer by a featured brewery, appetizers, four tastings and a full pint of beer of your favorite selection. They will also be providing guided tours of the mansion and answering any questions of their historic landmark throughout the evening. Also, take advantage of their First Fridays special of 1/2 price appetizers In the Studebaker Lounge.

Tickets are $20/person;  21+ ; Advance tickets can be purchased online, but walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, please call (574) 234-9077.

Local Tastings at Purple Porch Co-op

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
123 N. Hill St.

Purple Porch Co-op is celebrating First Fridays with some local tastings. Enjoy free samples of Violet Sky Chocolate and Zen Cafe. Exclusive deals include $1 off chocolate bars and $2 off 1 lb. bags of coffee.

Spirit Tasting at Citywide

3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
109 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Visit Citywide Liquors this First Fridays for free tastings from Hotel Tango distillery (3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and Indiana Small Batch portfolio (4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)


Retail Specials

10% off Star Wars Items at The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery

10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
217 S. Michigan St.

The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery will be offering a 10% discount on Death Star, Yoda, and Darth Vader pottery pieces. Plus, they will be hosting a kids canvas class from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Kids will be taught a cool galaxy technique, and have the option of adding custom Star Wars decals to further enhance the effect. Cost is $25/child, and space is limited. Online registration can be found by clicking here.

20% off at Idle Hours Bookshop for Costumed Customers

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

Come dressed as your favorite Star Wars character and receive 20% off at Idle Hours Bookshop. They will also have their sale table out.

Friends of the Library Book Sale 

12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
333 S. Michigan 

The Friends of the Library Book Sale is back open in their newly renovated space – with extended hours. Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Community Baby Shower at Ali’s

10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
722 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Ali on the Boulevard is hosting a community baby shower this First Fridays. Bring in a new, unwrapped baby item that they can donate to moms and babies in need, and receive 20% off your total purchase. Also check out their new styles now in stock.


Ongoing First Fridays Promotions

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.

Ben’s Pretzels

122 S. Michigan St.
3 pretzels for $10 (not including sauce)


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)

Hair Crafters

602 Lincoln Way East
20% off for new guests and 10% off all retail

South Bend Brew Werks

216 S. Michigan St.
New seasonal beer release and food pairing

South Bend Chocolate Cafe

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

Therapeutic Indulgence

904 E. Jefferson
20% off gift cards

Tippecanoe Place

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

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