Fourth Fridays Provides Regular Meet and Greet for RVA’s LGBT Crowd
The festivities of First Fridays are well renown throughout the city, but for the LGBTQ community, the last Friday of the month bears just as much excitement.
Fourth Fridays is a free LGBTQ mixer. It’s open to the public and hosted at different venues each month.
“Fourth Friday was started in 2006 as a group of friends wanting to socialize outside the normal LGBTQ establishments. It’s an event is for everyone who is LGBTQ and friends of our community,” said Scott Bailey from the Patio of the VMFA’s Best Cafe during May’s Fourth Friday.
Over the past eight years the event has expanded considerably with over 100 people typically in attendance and much of its popularity growing via word of mouth. The social runs from 6:30-9pm and venues have included the VMFA as well as various bars throughout the city.
“I’ve been coming steady now for three years,” said Sherry Baxter, a regular attendee. “I love the venues, and we especially like the museum. They start a little early and end a little early. A whole bunch of us go to dinner afterward, sometimes its ten sometimes its fourteen but we all go on to have dinner together and it’s really nice,” she added.
Baxter isn’t the only event-goer who comes out on a regular basis. Throughout the years Fourth Fridays has garnered a crowd of people who frequent the monthly event.
“You get to see people you never see at the bar and it’s just a great opportunity to see all your friends,” said Clay Robertson. “We come pretty much every month—every time we can make it,” he added.
Robertson’s partner, Ray Rinn, agreed saying that their favorite part of the event is that it’s a nice way to get around town and explore different local spots with the gay community.
The different event venues allow the Fourth Fridays crowd to use their space for free, and Bailey said it’s usually very lucrative for the establishment. He jokingly added that multiple bartenders are almost always necessary.
“I love getting to see some people we don’t always get to see. Last month’s venue was great—it was a new venue and it was fully packed within half an hour,” said Jackie Farell, another long-time attendee who often comes with her husband.
For others, Fourth Fridays offer an opportunity to take a break from a hectic work schedule and relax with familiar faces. Mary-Jo Elliott said she’s been attending since the event kicked off in 2006 and loves the monthly social gathering of gays and straights at different locations throughout the city.
“I love the diverse, well dressed crowd. Some other friends of mine were going and they invited me and I’ve been going ever since. Beautiful venues, all food and drink places, it’s a new venue every month. I encourage everyone to come out, it’s worth the visit,” said Ally Raymond, another attendee.
There is a monthly invite which event-goers are encouraged to RSVP to prior to the last Friday of the month. To be added to the invite list Bailey said to facebook message to Julie McCoy here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family & Friends, Happy Holidays! I hope you can join me for our final Fourth Friday of 2016. For this month’s cruise we will be heading to a GREAT Irish Pub!! I am sure it will be a blast with great drinks and wonderful people!! This is a Port of Call I am sure you [...]December 20, 2016
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