First Friday Guidelines

This is important information!

Everyone must register for a First Friday booth space.  Even members of the Downtown Lakeland Partnership and regular subscribers to First Friday!

Sign up at one of these links:

If you question isn’t answered below, please call 863-510-9723

First Fridays are hosted and managed by the Downtown Lakeland Partnership (DLP).  The DLP has an exclusive use agreement with the City of Lakeland. That means we control what goes on within the festival footprint and who can participate. 


  • The earlier you sign up, the better. When spots are filled up,  you can go on a waiting list and hope someone cancels.
  • If you’re not paid up by the Wednesday prior to the event, you’re likely to forfeit your reservation.
  • Exhibition booths are one 10′ x 10′ space;
  • Fees – There is a $100 fee for each First Friday, or you can SAVE MONEY by paying $400 for “regular” access to all First Fridays held during a 12 month period. “Preferred placement” spaces are currently fully subscribed.
  • We don’t waive participation fees.  Sometimes, we offer theme specials.  If you aren’t sure when they are or if you’re eligible, call or email us.


‘1. All tents must have tent weights.

2. Approved non-profit First Friday participants may, with prior DLP approval, engage in fund-raising activities.  The only “for profit” exhibitors that are allowed to sell their wares are DLP members that have a bricks & mortar shop in the Downtown boundaries. Sometimes specific theme-related groups (think artists and original art) may be allowed to sell with DLP permission.

3. Participants are encouraged to provide a family-friendly activity that contributes to the festival atmosphere/theme of the event and to make their booth more attractive the attendees.

4. Participants must confine their activities to the immediate vicinity of their booth.

5. Participants may not engage in any activity deemed inappropriate by the DLP Board and/or management, including but not limited to (a) the dissemination of information, written or verbal, that is damaging or derogatory to any other group; or (b) any activity that is prohibited by city, county, state or federal laws.

6. Participants may not share booth space with any other organization or business without prior consent of the DLP.

7. Placement is at the sole discretion of the DLP and is final.

8. Violation of these rules may result in immediate expulsion from the event and termination of the right to participate in the future.

9. Booth fees are non-refundable. If you paid the one-time booth fee and the DLP cancels the event, the rental fee will be applied to a date within two months of the canceled event. Exhibitors  who choose not to participate in an event that has not officially been cancelled by the DLP will forfeit their fee. If you are an annual subscriber, because the subscription rate is so heavily discounted, there will not be an extension for rain outs.

Occasionally, the DLP may invite non-member organizations to participate at a reduced booth rental fee if their presence adds to the the success of the event.

First Friday Set Up:

• First Friday events begin at 6pm. Parking spaces are coned at 3:30pm.*  Streets are closed at 5pm. Main Street does not close until 5:30- PM.

We suggest that you drop your set up materials near your location prior to the streets being closed at 5pm. Once the streets are closed, getting close to your set up spot will be more difficult as you will have to cross barricades. If that is the case, please enter from Massachusetts on to Cedar to unload your set up. All cars must be removed from the streets, so you WILL NOT be able to park near your spot. You may park in the Main Street garage or the permitted lot on the corner of Massachusetts and Cedar, directly across the street from the Main Street garage. See STREET CLOSURE MAP.

• Set up is generally in the parallel parking spaces along the streets.

• The DLP does not provide tables, chairs, tents, extension cords, duct tape, or any other items for your set up. If you run an extension cord, you must duct tape it to the sidewalk or street to reduce the trip hazard.

Please be sure to clean up your area upon leaving, making sure any trash or stray paper did not fall to the ground. We are responsible for the park and streets during the First Friday event. The DLP pays the City of Lakeland to clean up after the events.  The easier we make their job, the lower we can keep the fees.

*When people ignore our posted warnings about the street closures and leave their cars within the festival footprint, we can’t tow them.  We’ve thought about raffling them off, but we apparently can’t do that either.  We can set up around them. But, please don’t do anything to damage or mar the car.  You may give the driver the eye, though.