Downtown Concert Series kicks off tomorrow night – WLDS

Jacksonville’s downtown concert series kicks off the summer this Friday.

Jacksonville Main Street executive director Judy Tighe said the series opens with returning favorite CJ Ryder & the Pastmasters: “We already brought them in. It’s been a few years. They play all the pop songs you remember from years gone by. They actually cover several decades of music. You will hear many of your favorites. We are really excited to launch the series.

Refreshments go on sale at 6 p.m., with music starting at 7 p.m. Tighe says the weather forecast is in order before Friday.

The concert will also host the Jacksonville School District 117 Early Years Program distributing books to children, and the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation’s $10,000 Believe in Education grand prize will take place between the music.

Tighe says she’s amazed at Main Street’s Melissa Hebron’s ability to get acts calling her a “miracle worker” with her extensive contacts with booking agencies and her planning magic. Tighe says Hebron managed to get blues-rock band Champ Jaxon on June 24 schedulee after forwarding a YouTube video she came across: “I shared [the video] with Melissa and half-jokingly said ‘We should have this guy.’ She called me about a week and a half later and said, “I got it. She is simply amazing. She was able to get some really unique acts that you just don’t see every weekend around Jacksonville.

Tighe says the concert series has truly become a community-wide celebration thanks to local support and sponsors. Tighe says the series has received over 60 sponsors this year to keep the series going strong.

David H. Henry