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A concert to celebrate summer in Grady County will include a 10-member band performing in the heart of downtown Cairo Friday night.
Some local merchants are planning to stay open longer Friday to offer shopping opportunities to concert goers. In addition, some street vendors will be on hand, special photo backdrops will be set up in the pocket parks and face painting at Queen of Arts will take place.
The Grapevine band is the highlight of the evening. The 10 musicians out of Macon say they play a variety of music styles from the 60s to the 80s including Motown, R&B, beach, pop and rock. The band includes a saxophone, trombone, trumpet, guitarists, percussionists and more.
The evening is sponsored by Cairo Main Street and the Downtown Development Authority. Celeste Tyler, Cairo Main Street director, says they hope the free concert will provide the community with a positive gathering place. The band will perform on a stage set up across Broad Street between Miss Myrts and Grady Finance.
Tyler says, “We’re excited to have The Grapevine. They were highly recommended to us and we’re glad to kick off this concert venue with a great band.”
The evening will begin at 6 p.m. when Broad Street is blocked to traffic between Miss Myrt’s at MLK Jr. Avenue to the Cairo Police Department at First Avenue Southwest. The free concert will begin at 7 p.m., and people are encouraged to bring folding chairs if they want a place to sit. Coolers are discouraged, and no outside alcohol is allowed.
There will be some food and drinks available to purchase during the evening, including at Dark Horse Java and Cairo City Grill. In addition to their in-restaurant dining, Cairo City Grill will set up outside their restaurant to sell beer, wine and finger foods, according to the Main Street director.
This is the roll-out of the city’s new alcohol ordinance that permits “sipping and strolling” in the downtown area which has been designated an entertainment district. Purchasers of alcohol must have their I.D. to receive a special wristband that must be worn by consumers of beer or wine purchased inside the entertainment district. No one will be allowed to bring alcohol purchased from outside the concert area into the blocked-off entertainment district.
Parking for the evening will be available on Oliver Lane, West Alley, U.S. Post Office, Ameris Bank, IGA, Center Drugs, and the shopping center on MLK. Tyler says signs will be posted to direct visitors to suggested parking areas.
If the evening is a success, future concert events could be set, Tyler says. “What has been expressed is that maybe we could do this two and three times a year. We’re hoping that it’s well received and we’ll have a great turnout. That’ll help drive whether it’s repeated or not,” she says.