Mint juleps and fancy hats: First Tracks Friday returns this week with Kentucky Derby theme |

Mint juleps and fancy hats: First Tracks Friday returns this week with Kentucky Derby theme

About 200 people came out to Uptripping Gallery earlier this month to celebrate the community’s inaugural First Tracks Friday, a new monthly art walk in downtown Winter Park. The event returns this week, but with an entirely new twist.

“We were really kind of blown away by the turnout for it,” said Shannon Henn, owner of Uptripping. “Everyone seemed really excited to have some sort of artistic outlook in the community. We’re really excited, and most importantly everybody else is excited for what’s next, so we’ve got to deliver.”

Forty local artists came together to create works of art out of old skis and snowboards, and donated half of their earning to charitable organizations around the county. Henn, who helped organize the event with Jill Sutcliffe of the Viking Lodge and Suzie Cruz of Framewerx, said that all of April’s pieces sold during the event, and that nearly $2,000 was raised for the National Sports Center for the Disabled, Grand County Pet Pals, the Grand Foundation and a number of other local nonprofits.

“Sometimes we only get a chance to raise money for our charities one night a year when they have a party or fundraiser,” said Henn. “What I love about this, and the style we’ve been doing is that it allows everybody to raise money for their own individual charity, to pick something you believe in and raise a little money on a random night.”

First Tracks Friday will return on May 4 with a Kentucky Derby theme party. Guests are encouraged to buy or make their own crazy hats, and are welcomed to put their hats up for bid. This time around 100 percent of the proceeds will go to charity.

The event will go from 6 to 9 p.m. at Uptripping and Framewerx, located at 78878 Highway 40. The Stuffed food truck will be outside serving up runsas — beef and cabbage buns with cheese — and mint juleps will be served.

While the first event was certainly a success, the event organizers are hoping that more businesses and individuals will become involved.

“I hope this event turns into something bigger for the community,” said Henn. “Our vision of where this event could go is not just about Framewerx or Uptripping. It’s about getting out into the community Friday night out of the month. Hopefully we’ll start seeing other businesses doing fun events in their location, enticing the community to come down and check out places they might not normally come through.”

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