MONTROSE – The days continue to grow longer, and restaurants, retailers and art galleries will be open just a little later in the lengthening twilight tomorrow evening: it’s time for First Friday Stroll, and downtown Montrose will be gussying up for the occasion. The hope is you will, too. This month’s First Friday theme is Spring Formal, and ladies who dress up will qualify for discounts at participating vendors.
This is the time of year for Spring proms – perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when you think Spring Formal – and there’ll be prom reservation specials at local restaurants. There’ll also be a sale on prom gowns: Nina Suzanne will be selling them for just $50 each, as well as 10 percent off on jewelry. But teenage girls aren’t the only ones who get to have all the fun. “We have lots of dress-up events this time of year for adults as well,” says Ruthie Rich of She She Boutique.
The Compassion Bash at Cobble Creek and the CASA fund-raising events are both coming up, for example. “Pick a gala, dress up for it, and go,” she says. She She will host an appearance by natural fiber artist Lucy Booty of Ridgway on Friday evening. Booty has taught felting classes at Weehawken Arts and the Ah Haa School, and will be showing off her felted silk chiffon, silk and merino wool scarves and shawls – perfect light cover ups for any type of dress-up event this time of year. She She even offers felted soaps. They’re just what they sound like: soap, covered in felt, which acts as a gentle loofah (perhaps to prep your skin for showing-off in a bare dress).
For fancy footwear, D’Amici will be showing off shoes from Stuart Weitzman, Annie and Amalfi. Fancy a light libation with your stroll? The Canyon Gallery will be staging a wine-tasting event, courtesy of the Pour House, featuring a chardonnay, a Petite Sirah and a red wine blend from the Crusher label of Don Sebastiani & Sons.
Despite the title Spring Formal, certain aspects of this month’s stroll will be decidedly un-formal. Tiffany, Etc., for instance, is in the midst of a renovation.
“For us, it’s a season of renewal, and we’ve invited our best ‘renewal experts’ in to help out,” says owner Glee Wescott.
She’s speaking not of spackle, but of complementary “facial rejuvenation” sessions, courtesy of Main Street Essentials, available to walk-ins Friday evening. And what could be less formal than getting dirty? Or at least, getting dirt on your hands, if you swing by Amazing Glaze and take a ceramic bird feeder or bird-bath-building class (please call 970/252-7225 in advance to enroll).
Amelia’s Restaurant, in an informal spot (they’re located in the old root cellar building), has a loyal following and great customer service. They’ll be open tonight for dinner.
As to the matter of art, informal also applies. At the A+Y Design Gallery, “Formality is just a word,” says co-owner Yesenia Duncan. “We’d like for people to relax a little bit here and let their hair down.” Or up, as the case may be: A+Y will be featuring a local stylist specializing in up-dos, as well as live music (so your spirits will lift, as well as your hair).
Around the Corner Gallery will debut a new, juried art show called Luminosity – the perfect theme for a warming season, when the sun climbs higher in the sky. “Informal” is just a word to Around the Corner’s owner Bill Brown, but it’s a meaningful one. In fact, it is the goal. “We’re typical Montrose,” he says. “We’re informal and inviting all year.”