The ‘Final Friday’ (FF) event that has been taking place in the Pendleton neighborhood has been a staple of downtown living for the past two decades and I have attended on and off for the last 10 years. Over the years, this monthly exhibition of artesian expression has spread to other parts of downtown and Over-the-Rhine (OTR) areas to include the downtown business districts and Main Street. This event occurs (as you may know from the name) on the last Friday of every month, from 8pm to 10pm, where art galleries and shops in the downtown keep their doors open later than normal, seducing patrons with free wine, appetizers with jovial conversation.
I fell in love with this event my first year of college when the parent’s of a high-school friend opened an art studio in this area and invited me to my first FF event.
Recently, I was driving through the neighborhood of Oakley and noticed a banner hanging across its main thoroughfare which boasted ‘Oakley’s Final Friday’.
I could not believe it. The swanky, slightly more affluent northern neighbor was trying to steal a downtown tradition that had been very successful over the years.
I was glad to see that residents of the downtown area were not taking this lying down. This was apparent after reading “Feuding Over Friday’s" in last Friday’s Cincinnati Enquirer. Brian Tiffany, president of the Over—the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce stated, "We just really felt that we had some incredible momentum going," he said. "For this to be just scooped up and taken away at what we consider a critical time - I mean, can't you pick another day? Can't you pick 'Final Thursday?' or 'Last Saturday?'”
Oakley could have been more original with its event’s name and was un provoked in its blatant attempt to try and draw crowds form downtown’s FF event. OTR chamber will not be hard pressed to legally get Oakley to change the name. The Enquirer stated that the Final Friday name was trademarked by Thirteen Ten Pendleton Corp., a subsidiary of the Verdin Bell Co. Company president Jim Verdin registered it in 2004 to describe the "arranging and conducting exhibitions of art and artists." which is still the case for downtown’s FF and has also morphed to include commerce and other commercial venues.
Bottom line is that if Oakley had created an innovative and ORIGINAL slogan to promote the events occurring on the last Friday of the month in their neighborhood, myself, and a considerable number of other downtown residents, would have had a little more respect for their efforts. If Oakley decides to continue this outlandish display of rivalry, bridges may be burned and the efforts of both downtown and Oakley may be at risk.