Exploring the Historic District on First Saturdays
On the first Saturday of every month, downtown Frederick comes alive with people during the much-loved event called First Saturday. The Downtown Frederick Partnership has been organizing these fun events for years. Residents and visitors alike enjoy exploring the shops and restaurants, theaters and art galleries, as they make their way throughout the Historic District. The themed events run from 3 to 9 pm, with lots of activities, demonstrations, store specials, art exhibits, fantastic dining, live entertainment and more.
Monthly First Saturday Themes
- January is “Wine Down” after what is usually the busiest month of the year.
- February is “Fire in Ice”, a favorite of many. Local merchants display ice sculptures with lights inside during this event. (This last February there were over 100 ice sculptures!)
- March is “Ladies Night”.
- April is “Going Green in Frederick” with and emphasis on sustainable practices. There are often services like a free community shred.
- May is “Mayfest”. Shoppers can build their own bouquet of flowers one at a time, as each local merchant gives a free stem.
- June is “I Art Frederick”, which coincides with the yearly Frederick Art Festival. Plein Air artists are set up around the city and the art is auctioned off.
- July is “Stars and Stripes” with lots of patriotic events.
- August is “Destination Frederick”
- September is “Dog Days” with a fun costume contest for our fur family and lots of pet-themed activities.
- October is “The Harvest”.
- November is “Holiday Open House”, kicking off the Christmas season.
- December is “Eat, Shop and Be Merry”, with three Saturdays filled with celebrations leading up to Christmas.
The Historic District takes up about 50 square blocks and is full of architecture and history. Our beautiful historic area is under the care of the Frederick Historic Commission since 1977. Our city has received many awards, including The Great American Main Street Award in 2005. It was named one of the “Distinct Destinations” in 2002 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and was named one of “10 Great Neighborhoods” for 2010, by the American Planning Association (APA).
The residential, industrial, commercial and church buildings date from the late 1700’s to 1941. The architecture includes many Federal style buildings, Queen Anne, American Foursquare, and late Victorian. The churches have the high styles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Gothic and Greek Revival, Romanesque and Colonial Revival.
There are many historic buildings, houses and sites to see in the District, including The Frederick County Museum of History, the Bjorlee Museum, The Museum of Civil War Medicine, the Hessian Barracks, and many more. Just outside of the Historic District there are several museums, like the Schifferstadt House, Rose Hill Manor and the Taney House.
Downtown Frederick has a growing theater community, which includes the historic Weinberg Theater. Other theater groups include the MET, or Maryland Ensemble Theater, Way off Broadway, and several others.
There are a number of art galleries around town, with new exhibits all the time. During the first weekend in June, the Frederick Art Festival draws more than 100 artists and craftspeople from all over the region. The entire month of June is devoted to the arts, with Plein Air painters painting throughout the city and around the county. You won’t want to miss the Barnstorming Tour that takes place in June throughout the county.
The Historic District has several frescos painted on the walls of restaurants and shops, as well as the faux painted “Community Bridge” located on Carroll Creek. Frederick has been named one of America’s 12 “Prettiest Painted Places”, selected from nearly 200 nominees.
Frederick has some amazing, unique restaurants. There is just about any type of cuisine you can want, from Italian, Mexican, Caribbean, Cuban, Fusion, Organic, Local Farm-to-Table, Spanish, Mediterranean, and much more. Bagels, Pizza, Wings, Bakeries, Specialty Food shops, the list seems endless. You’ll never lack for places to try and you’re sure to have many favorites. Frederick is for Foodies!
There are over 80 specialty shops and restaurants downtown. There are many small businesses in Frederick, and very few chain stores. Local merchants are part of the community. Living in downtown Frederick has its many perks, including a warm and friendly environment. Frederick has all the charm and friendliness of a small town, yet amenities that make living here exciting and fun.