Downtown concert series continues Friday night
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The third in a series of downtown concerts will be staged this Friday night and it is the inaugural event for the city’s new marketing director.
Alyssa Blakley, who began work Sept. 30, has been busy settling into her new position while at the same time planning for a major event in only her second week on the job.
Friday night’s concert will feature the Billy Rigsby Band, which was formed by Rigsby in Tallahassee, Fla. The band has a soulful style inspired by the music of Marvin Gaye, Al Greene, Michael Jackson and Robert Cray. Rigsby and the band have been performing since the late 1990s and have opened for some of the biggest names in the music industry, including James Brown and Earth, Wind and Fire.
Blakley had her sights on Whigham native and popular performer Johnnie Marshall, but he was unavailable and recommended Rigsby.
“Johnnie explained to me how popular Rigsby is in the Tallahassee area and he performs frequently at the Bradfordville Blues Club. After speaking to Billy Rigsby on the phone, I knew that his music and talent would be a great fit for our fall concert and bring something different to downtown,” Blakley said.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. and will conclude at approximately 10 p.m. According to the Main Street director, South Broad Street in the central business district will be closed beginning at 4 p.m.
Everyone is invited to come downtown and bring a comfortable chair. Nine vendors have already registered with the city to set up downtown Friday night.
“The Cairo City Grill will be open and also serving beer/wine, Home Slice pizza will be on site, The Kings will be back with their famous shrimp and grits, a hotdog stand, and plenty of drinks and snacks on hand. A couple of arts and crafts vendors will be attending, as well, with door hangers, jewelry, and handmade gifts. Most downtown stores will be open late including Miss Myrts, Gate 16 Plaza, and Dark Horse Java. Queen of Arts will be offering kids arts and crafts in their studio along with Creative Nutrition healthy drinks for sale outside their storefront,” Blakley said.
The weather forecast is in favor of the concert with more comfortable temperatures and no rain in the offing.
“It is shaping up to be a fantastic concert and I hope everyone who can will come join us and enjoy it,” Blakley said.
“My first weeks on the job have been really great and I joked the first day that I was a little homesick. It didn’t take long to fit right in, and I’ve met many who I get to work with at the City of Cairo, including the department heads who have all been very welcoming and patient as I ask many questions learning how the organization works. During the first week, I did get the grand tour of downtown with one of my board members, Nola Daughtry, who took an hour or two to introduce me to the downtown business owners, which have such a variety to offer. I’m discovering there is a lot of pride in Cairo and the citizens are very passionate about their town,” Blakley said.
“They want to see Cairo grow and progress, but while keeping the same traditions and maintaining the identity of what truly makes Cairo unique. I’m excited to continue to learn more and offer my skills and knowledge to see that those efforts continue here,” she added.
Blakley, a north Grady County native and resident, attended school in Pelham and comes to Cairo after having served as the Main Street director for the City of Pelham.