The concerts, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. starting July 14, will be set at the downtown stage in the city parking lot and will open with Gypsy Rose. The band, which covers Tom Petty, Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others, has gotten the seal of approval by city economic developer Brent Graden.
"I've been to some of their practices," he said, "and they rock the house."
Local bluegrass artists will be showcased in the Red Rooster Bluegrass Festival on August 4. Local talent will again be spotlighted on August 18 when "The Route 3 Band" takes the stage. The group, composed of Kentucky Opry Junior Pro singers, offers a show that brings together new country rhythms and Southern rock with an Appalachian sensibility.
The event calendar also includes one program aimed at helping to raise money for a local skate park. That program, SkateCore, will hit the lot on August 25 and will feature hard rock music.
"All the rest of the concerts are free, but this is the only one where we will ask for donations," Graden said.
The free city concerts will try to catch the wave of Fox's reality series hit "American Idol" when they launch "Prestonsburg Idol" on Sept. 9. Graden calls the event "an open competition to all the talented and non-talented people in the immediate area."
The night will begin with open auditions for the first 100 contestants who show up. Graden promises that the audience who makes it out should enjoy the show, which will also be taped for channel 3. The audience will get to vote for their favorites, who will return for a final performance on Sept. 29. The winner will get to journey to the Mountain Arts Center and take advantage of their recording studio, where they will be afforded the opportunity to record an original song.
Graden noted that the icing on the cake will be to have local radio stations then air the song that won "Prestonsburg Idol."
Graden hopes that the events, which are scheduled to include food, concessions and a farmer's market, will help bring shoppers back to the downtown area and give them something special to do while are rediscovering all the area has to offer.