DOVER — The Fig Tree Band, a four-piece ensemble of students from Delaware State University, the University of Delaware and Maryland that debuted last year in downtown Dover, will be returning for First Friday festivities this week.
The band, last seen at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in November, is led by Luis Figueroa, who explained that its name was inspired by his last name.
He said that over time, it evolved to include a more spiritual depth, noting that the backgrounds and families he and his band members comprise are part of one big family tree, rooted in Christianity.
“Together, these gentlemen serve with integrity, using their honed skills and musical gifts,” said Diane Laird, executive director of the Downtown Dover Partnership. “In fact, they just recorded two original songs, which they will play for the Dover community at the plaza.”
Along with the band and an array of family-friendly activities Friday, the Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization will launch its Parklet Pilot Program by setting up a mobile parklet — a small seating area or green space created as a public amenity on or along a sidewalk — on Loockerman Street.
“Mobile parklets typically feature public seating, as well as things like tables, umbrellas, games and colorful flower plantings,” said Helen Wiley, public outreach manager for the MPO. “They are temporarily set up, often in a parking space, as a placemaking activity and a way to expand playful activities to the community in unexpected ways. We are really excited to launch this program on First Friday.”
Ms. Laird said “family-friendly is always in style on First Friday,” and this month, kids of all ages are invited to have some fun dressing up as characters from 5-8 p.m.
Susan Elizabeth Cordle, head of youth services for the Dover Public Library, said, “Representatives from the library will have a table at Loockerman Way Plaza to capture fun images from the evening for those who are dressed as princes and princesses, animated characters, superheroes and the like.”
Kids should come early to meet the balloon artist Terrell Nelson of Kidz DeLight at the Capital City Farmers Market, which will be open 4-7 p.m., hosting a variety of goodies, craft vendors and food trucks. A full schedule of the farmers market may be found here.
Other First Friday activities will include:
• Crafts for kids at the Dover Art League (26 W. Loockerman St.).
• Activities for small children, who can also learn more about being a firefighter from members of the Dover Fire Department, while taking a close look at a firetruck (corner of South Bradford and Loockerman streets.)
• An opportunity to meet members of the Dover Police Department’s Community Policing Section.
Visitors can also stop by the Grey Fox Grille & Public House, which will host musicians George and Ossi, and the Rebel Cove Bar & Grill to celebrate its recent opening with singer/guitarist Tim Jaudon.
Additional First Friday participating merchants and musicians, which are subject to change and will vary with performances 5-8:30 p.m., include:
• Clay Jackson at My Roots — saxophonist playing big sounds of jazz, R&B and gospel.
• Kathy Doyle, Stu Welch and Jim McGiffin at The House of Coffi.
• Mike Miller at the corner of State and Loockerman streets – singer/guitarist playing Americana-themed pieces
• Rick Hudson indoors at Forney’s Too – singer/songwriter on guitar and harmonica with a focus on blues, old-time country and contemporary pieces.
• Mollie Raley Hall at The Delaware Store/Parke Green Galleries – singer/songwriter on guitar, ukulele and mandolin, an eclectic mix of mostly folk and pop.
• Rick and Tish Schuman indoors at Tina’s Timeless Threads – singers/songwriters on acoustic guitar and drums with a focus on late 1960s/early 1970s and original pieces.
• Tim Jaudon, indoors at Rebel Cove – acoustic guitar and cover musician playing everything from classic rock to pop to country.
The DDP will have a table at the intersection of South Bradford and Loockerman Street. Visitors can pick up specially priced T-shirts, a Capital Key to unlock value shopping downtown, and to learn more about the activities taking place between 5 and 8 p.m.
First Friday takes take place rain or shine, though some activities may be curtailed in the event of heavy downpours or lightning.
Programming for First Friday is subject to change. For information, call 302-678-2940 or see Downtown Dover on Facebook.