As summer nears, Mitchell's Main Street awaits vibrant Friday nights full of entertainment, food and fun.
In its second year of existence, 5 p.m. Friday will mark the beginning of the summer event First Fridays on Main.
Jared Indahl, executive director of Mitchell Main Street and Beyond, said he is excited with the lineup of events and entertainment options this year's First Fridays on Main brings to downtown Mitchell.
"There are a lot of fun activities planned this year, and Cruisin' for a Cause will be bringing the station wagon that was featured in National Lampoon's "Vacation" movie for our first night this Friday," Indahl said.
The lineup of events for the kickoff of First Fridays on Main, includes a car show from the "Cruisin' for a Cause" group, a fitness class from Anytime Fitness, along with Crazy Cart Races that will be led by Coborn's grocery store. The races will begin at 6 p.m., with participants racing against each other to fill their cart with the right items from a list provided Coborn's.
Indahl said the grocery store will be headlining several more activities this year. Billy Lurken and the longtime Mitchell group Starfire Band will highlight the music performances throughout the opening night.
"Not many towns can put on an event and have the level of success like this has had, and it really highlights the pride the community has for our Main Street," Indahl said. "You can really feel the vibe of a town through their Main Street, and we are making sure it stays vibrant and welcoming."
Almost a year into his role as executive director of Mitchell Main Street and Beyond, Indahl said he's noticed strong community support for the event. Indahl said roughly 1,000 people were in attendance on the last First Friday on Main in September 2018, which he feels will only grow with the list of events and activities slated for this summer.
"It was a beautiful September night, and I felt the excitement from all of the community members throughout the whole night. It was just a great event," Indahl said of his first night experiencing the summer event. "It's an opportunity to bring the family down, and go out with co-workers, friends and unite around having fun. It also showcases our Main Street and Corn Palace."
Food Truck Friday starts up
In addition to First Fridays on Main, Corn Palace Director Scott Schmidt is helping bring unique cuisines to Main Street with the inaugural Food Truck Friday summer event. Despite the similar names, the First Fridays and Food Truck Friday events will be held separately each month.
"Food brings people together," Schmidt said. "We want to have great and unique food options, and you can get to know a person over the course of enjoying a good meal."
According to Schmidt, Food Truck Fridays will span from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the third Friday of every month during the months of May, June, July and August. On those days, North Main Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues will be closed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the event.
Staying local is Schmidt's priority for choosing the food truck vendors. For the first event on May 17, the lineup features three local food truck vendors with Big Daddy D's BBQ and Catering, Hungry Dog and Cornerstone Coffee House and Deli.
"Anytime we can showcase our awesome Main Street and Corn Palace, it's fantastic for the city of Mitchell," Schmidt said. "You can just feel the excitement down here during First Fridays, and I feel like this new event will unite the community around fun activities."
As the event progresses throughout the summer, Schmidt said he hopes the Food Truck Friday gatherings build up support from the community.
"Bringing vendors with ethnic foods helps the community get a taste of something new, and it helps create a more cultural experience on Main Street," Schmidt said.