Businesses adapt to canceled First Friday events

Posted at 6:35 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 07:35:10-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — COVID-19 will change the look of First Friday in Kansas City from hustle and bustle to deserted, and many businesses are trying to adapt.

In the Crossroads Arts District, First Friday has been canceled for April 3 and May 1.

The district said on their website the decision was based on Mayor Quinton Lucas' Stay at Home order and CDC guidelines to not have events with 10 or more people.

Under Kansas City's order, restaurants are considered essential businesses and can remain open for pick up and delivery only. However, food trucks and art vendors won't be allowed during the cancellation, according to the arts district.

According to Jeff Owens, President of the Crossroads Community Association and Chair for First Fridays, some street vendors and art galleries have turned to virtual options to still showcase their work.

The owner of Hilliard Art Gallery in the Crossroads said virtual exhibits and their website is how they're connecting with clients.

In Kansas City's West Bottoms, antique and vintage business "Good Ju Ju" decided to cancel their April First Friday shopping event scheduled for April 3-4.

Co-owner Pam Kenney said the business is adapting to offer online shopping.

Normally, customers can look on the businesses website at a catalog of items that drove business into the store. Since customers can't come inside, a decision was made to offer something different.

"We decided that we'll let them shop from that album, those albums this time and they can put sold underneath in the comments and then we'll call for payment and then make arrangements for later for them pick up the goods," Kenney said.

The business owner added this is the first time they won't be open for a First Friday event in their 13-year history, but remain confident in customer support.

"We love our customers and our customers love us. So they're supporting us as best they can and that's all I would say, support small local business," Kenney said.