Organizers of the annual Friday Fest are taking a chance on Mother Nature’s continued good mood and kicking off the popular event a bit early this year — this Friday to be exact.

“The association voted to start in early May this year. It’s a little earlier than usual and weather and by iffy,” explained Alison Hamling, director of Downtown Experience. “But we were already planning a May 5 Cinco de Mayo celebration, so it just made sense to start the whole season that night.”

The event is celebrating its 11th year and 10th season, thanks to COVID and “the year that never happened,” beginning at 6 p.m. every Friday in the 9th Street Plaza. The series is scheduled to run through Sept. 15.

The annual Friday Fest series draws hundreds of live music fans to downtown Greeley for an evening of outdoor entertainment, Go-Cup beverages, activities for the kids and more. (Greeley Tribune File Photo)

As in past years, Friday Fest organizers have gone over and above to bring a variety of live music and entertainment to the community. Kicking off this year’s series will be Poquito Maz and the Colorado Allstarz. The bands specialize in cumbia, tejano, conjunto and New Mexico music.

Parents are encouraged bring their little ones out early for the event on Friday for a chance to meet Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer. Dora will be greeting children of all ages and snapping photos with them and their family from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at 808 Ninth St.

As in past years, Friday Fest is a Go-Cup sanctioned event. (Greeley Tribune File Photo)

Local artists the Danny Derail Band are scheduled to take the outdoor stage May 12, bringing classic rock and blues hits from over the decades.

Get ready to kick up your heels with Chain Station on May 19. The high energy four-piece string band will showcase their fun and original songs for an evening of entertainment under the stars.

Wrapping up May’s schedule is The Long Run, an Eagles tribute band, on May 26.

Fan favorite Funkiphino is set to perform at Friday Fest on July 28 in downtown Greeley. (Courtesy/Funkiphino)

The rest of the 2023 Friday Fest schedule is as follows:

Friday, June 2 — Greeley Blues Jam Kickoff with Hazel Miller and the Collective

Friday, June 9 — Greeley Stampede Kickoff with Kelsey Jo and The Wildcards

Friday, June 16 — Cass Clayton Band

Friday, June 23 — Brothers of the Son

Friday, June 30 — Intergalactic Peace Jelly

Friday, July 7 — Rusty 44

Friday, July 14 — Rumours Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band

Friday, July 21 — My Blue Sky

Friday, July 28 — Greeley Arts Picnic Kickoff with Funkiphino

Friday, Aug. 4 — District 6 Success Foundation Celebration Night with Mojomama

Friday, Aug. 11 — Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts

Friday, Aug. 18 — Dave Beegle and the Jurassicasters

Friday, Aug. 25 — Chris Daniels and The Kings

Friday, Sept. 1 — Johnny and The Mongrels

Friday, Sept. 8 — Block Party, bands to be determined

Friday, Sept. 15 — Mexican Independence Day, band to be determined

Ryan Chrys & The Roughcuts will bring their outlaw music to downtown Greeley on Friday, Aug. 11. (Courtesy/Ryan Chrys & The Roughcuts)

Along with live music, the free event will feature face painting, Go-Cup service, fire spinners, dancers and balloon artists, as well as new additions of a large bubble wand artist, magic demonstrations, LED-light hula hoop artists and stilt walkers from Spectra Circus.

Local restaurants and bars will be open prior to and during the event selling a variety of food and beverages.

Friday Fest is made possible by members of the association who pay dues as well as contributions from sponsors like ALLO Fiber, High Country Beverage, the city of Greeley and iHeart Media.

In addition to live music and Go-Cup opportunities, Friday Fest features face painting, fire dancers and more for all ages. (Greeley Tribune File Photo)

“With projected costs reaching almost $100,000 this year, sponsorships are more crucial than ever to keep the series going,” Hamling said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our family of bar and restaurant owners and our community for continuing to come together to make this possible.”

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. To inquire about becoming a Friday Fest sponsor, contact Hamling at

Parking for the event will be available in and around downtown Greeley including at the Ice Haus, 900 Eighth Ave., Greeley Train Depot, 902 Seventh Ave. and the parking lot along 10th Street.

Hazel Miller will start the 2023 Greeley Blues Jam off on the right note at the Friday Fest kickoff event on June 2. (Credit/Cowgirl Camera)

Follow the rules for continued Friday Fest fun:

Visitors may bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

Food, water, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages are allowed at the event.

Pets are allowed at Friday Fest, however, they must be leashed at all times and remain under control of their owner.

Smoking is allowed at Friday Fest, but organizers ask that you step away from others as a courtesy.

Outside alcohol may not be brought into Friday Fest or the downtown area. People bringing in their own alcohol will be banned from the event.

Unruly behavior such as visible intoxication, unsolicited touching, harassment or other shenanigans are prohibited.

Everyone purchasing alcohol or Go-Cups will be required to produce a valid photo ID. No exceptions.

Guests will receive only one drink per wristband.

Violating liquor service laws could result in Friday Fest being cancelled and/or permanently shut down.

In addition to live music and Go-Cup opportunities, Friday Fest features face painting, fire dancers and more for all ages. (Greeley Tribune File Photo)

For more information on the 2023 Friday Fest event, go to or on Facebook at .

This article was originally published in Greeley Tribune