KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City’s new mask mandate isn’t keeping people away from First Fridays.
First Fridays returned with its original fanfare in July with food trucks, art galleries, street performers and vendors, but this month the mask mandate returned.
“It’s definitely mixed feelings, mixed emotions,” said artist Corrinne Coomes.
She debuted her shop Magical AF, which stands for Magical Art Fanatics, back at the event for the first time since 2019. She says she’s glad the mask precautions are back in place indoors.
“I mean, I want to protect myself as well as everybody else around me and I kind of just choose if I’m close to people definitely wear my mask. If I’m farther away from people and I feel a little more comfortable, Then I’ll be a little more relaxed and take it off.”
Jeff Owens is the Vice President of the Crossroads Community Association. He said masks were available for people inside of the galleries.
“Tonight it’s a combination of wearing masks inside. You don’t have to wear masks outside. We’ve got a nice breeze going. It feels like a pretty safe evening.”
Over in the West Bottoms, retailers are preparing to welcome hundreds of shoppers looking for rare vintage and handmade items.
“During the times between our shows, our vendors are out and they’re finding new stuff and they’re kind of creating while new spaces so every time you come in, it feels like a new experience,” said Bella Patina co-owner Nick Allen.
Allen said despite mandate, he expects customers to show up and shop for First Friday weekend.
“Everybody’s been really awesome, really compliant. Come down and just support us and actually last year, we had multiple record weekends,” he said.