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Summer concert series arrives this weekend in downtown Brookhaven

The success of Downtown Jazzed Up earlier this year led to the idea for the Summer Concert Series, which kicks off Friday night.

In February, throngs of revelers were led down Cherokee Street by the Bayou Connection Brass Band and the Mardi Gras second line parade concluded in front of Brookhaven Music and Sound Company. Those who stayed were part of a street dance with music by the Bridge Band.

Katie Nations, program director of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, credits the event as a game changer for events coming to downtown. “The summer concert series we’re putting on this summer all stemmed from the event in February,” she said. “We were hoping for 500 people and they estimated around 1,300 showed up.”

Nations was impressed with the feedback she received.

“After that event, we received so many phone calls with people thanking us for doing an event like this,” she said. “We got such great feedback that we thought could do this more often. So we decided to have a free music event and what better time to do it than the beginning of summer.”

The series kicks off Friday at 8 p.m. with a performance by Ghost Town. The Chamber will have a tent with T-shirts for sale for $15 each and promotional items available.

The stage will be in front of Brookhaven Music and Sound Company on the corner of South Railroad Avenue and East Cherokee Street. Railroad Avenue will be closed, as well as parts of South Whitworth Avenue for the Grand Prix bike race that will conclude just before the concert begins. Individuals are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and enjoy a night in the city.

It will be a busy night for downtown. For Nations, she’s hoping this will draw a crowd from the surrounding areas.

“I live and work downtown. I love to see people from all over the county that don’t specifically have to come to our downtown area often. I want this to be an excuse for them to come down here and see what all is going on downtown,” Nations said.

Other concerts planned include Lindsey Cardinale June 23 and the Bridge Band July 28.

Cardinale was a finalist on “American Idol” in 2005.

Nations is hopeful the success of downtown events continues. “I would love in the future for Brookhaven to have some sort of free entertainment event every weekend. I’m hoping by this time next year, that maybe we could have a music and arts festival,” said Nations.