Call it a nod to how it all began: The streets will remain open during July’s First Friday festivities.

The Downtown Lakeland Partnership made the change to the July 7 event in anticipation of wet weather. In doing so, organizers realize they have virtually guaranteed it will be a beautiful, rain-free event.

Nevertheless, First Friday will take place rain or shine 6-9 p.m. Open streets mean lots of free, on-street parking opportunities for attendees.

Many of Downtown Lakeland’s shops, salons and spas will offer refreshments and light fare during the event, and live music will be provided by Lkld Live. The Classy Car Show and exhibitors won’t be part of this month’s festivities, but there will be plenty of fun for the entire family.

Here are some activities, sales and specials taking place that night:

Artwork by Alison LaMons

When First Friday was created, businesses stayed open late, but streets remained open. Through the years, the event grew into a larger celebration that includes exhibitors, live music and theatre performances, children’s activities and more.

Be sure to snap a photo of yourself, your friends and your family members while you’re out and about on July 7 and use #FlashbackFirstFriday.

We will update this post as we gather additional details about offers at various downtown businesses.