Debut event draws large crowd
The unveiling of the Prestonsburg Renaissance on Main Association's “Fridays Alive” concert series last weekend proved to be just the success that they had hoped for. Temperatures were on the rise and a setting sun promised little relief under the muggy conditions, but Brent Graden, economic developer, City of Prestonsburg, was on hand with a few young volunteers to serve up some cooling refreshments. Along with a variety of soft drinks, hamburgers and hot dogs were also on the menu and many looking for a way to escape the heat of a hot summer kitchen were quick to take advantage of the offerings.
As the featured band, Gypsy Rose, a local southern rock band that covers the likes of Tom Petty, Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Beatles, among others, tuned up, concertgoers began to arrive, folding chairs in hand, for an anticipated evening of entertainment.
Kicking off the show with a rousing rendition of John Anderson's “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” the band's Warren Combs soon had those gathered pleased while the strains of music playing out across the city quickly began to draw in even more.
“Those guys are good,” Graden said, “they rock the house.”
Bystanders Jimmy and Judy Curnutte agreed. “We're here to see Grant,” said Judy. “Well, all the boys, really, because we know that they're good, really good.”
A couple of songs into the first set, the Curnutte's were smiling broadly and saying how proud they were of “the boys.”
The band members of Gypsy Rose are Warren Combs, Josh Shepherd, Dusty Rowe, Grant Honeycutt, and Austin May, all of Prestonsburg.
Local bluegrass artists will be showcased in the Red Rooster Bluegrass Festival, next up on the concert series agenda, slated for Friday, August 4, at 6 p.m., in the city municipal parking lot.
Local talent will again be spotlighted on Friday, August 18, when “The Route 3 Band” will take the city 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 sound.
On Friday, August 25, SkateCore, featuring hard rock music, will hit the lot with a program aimed at helping raise money to be used toward constructing a local skate park for area youth. “All the rest of the concerts are free but this is the only one where we will ask for donations,” Graden said.
September 9 will be an evening straight out of the airwaves of the Fox TV network when the city will launch its own version of “American Idol” - “Prestonsburg Idol.” Graden calls this 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 people to show up. The audience will vote for their favorites, who will then return for an encore performance on September 29. The winner of “Prestonsburg Idol” will be given the opportunity to record an original song in the Mountain Arts Center's recording studio.
So, if you're looking to beat the heat and get out of the house for an evening of outdoor entertainment with family and friends, come out to the city parking lot for Fridays Alive throughout the summer. Food and concessions will continue to be available, along with a farmer's market as well as booths displaying the wares of local shopowners.
If you're a local shopowner, vendor, or would just like to volunteer your services at the Fridays Alive concerts, contact Brent Graden at City Hall, at 886-2335.