First on Front concert series kicking off in downtown Monett

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Inaugural performance set for Friday

Preparations are complete for the premier First on Front concert, part of a series of Friday public performances at the Jerry D. Hall Memorial Pavilion in the new Glen and Sharon Garrett Park on Front Street in Monett.

Amanda Lee, coordinator for the concert series for host First State Bank of Purdy, which continues on the first Friday of the month through July, said activities will start with a formal ribbon cutting at 5:45 p.m. by the Monett Chamber of Commerce. Food trucks will begin serving at 5 p.m. The concert will begin at 6 p.m.

This will be first major public event in this public space, developed by Monett Main Street. The park has been prepared for occupancy, with bathrooms and a playground area for children. Lee noted there will not be any bleachers. Those attending are urged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for sitting on the grass.

“We want an outdoor ‘block party’ feel,” Lee said.

The physical layout for the concerts will be different than events at the Repurposed Faire, located in the same vicinity. Bands will play from a stage facing west, but will be audible throughout the area, thanks to the sound system acquired by First State for the series, Lee said.

Food trucks will be located on the south side of Front Street and along Fifth Street. Ten food trucks are expected. A small beer garden will be located on Main Street property off the street at Fourth and Front.

Front Street will be closed during the event between Fourth and Fifth Streets. Fourth Street will close after 6 p.m.

Parking will be available on Broadway, in the Sixth Street parking lot and on side streets. The lot at Fifth and Broadway will be occupied by vehicles from the bands and other participants and will not be available. Handicapped parking will be available on the northwest corner of Fourth and Front.

“This is all about the community, bringing people together,” Lee said. “It’s important to use that local businesses get foot traffic.”

Twelve downtown merchants have agreed to stay open until 8:45 p.m., when the last band takes the stage to close the evening. To further encourage traffic for the merchants, there will be a 30-minute break between the performances to encourage visiting the stores, which are holding a giveaway. Visitors will be offered punch cards, and those who visit all 12 merchants will be eligible for a drawing at the end of the evening, announced at the pavilion.

Lee said merchants from all the towns where First State Bank has a branch — Purdy, Monett, Pierce City and Cassville — have donated $2,200 in gift certificates for the concert series. Six gift baskets packaging these donations will be given away at the final concert in July.

Monett merchants will continue their party atmosphere through the day on Saturday, Lee added. The celebration coordinates with National Small Business Week.

The beer garden will offer locally-crafted beer. Food trucks will focus on local vendors, with products such as barbecue, hot dogs, wrap and smoothies.

Music will start at 6 p.m. with the Lucas Gates Band. After the first 30-minute break, Lauren Ashley will take the stage. Following the second break, the Mark Chapman Band will close the evening. Lynzee Johnson from KTTS will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening.

Coordinating staff for the event will wear clearly marked maroon shirts to provide assistance if needed. A first aid station is planned for the southwest corner of the park.

The second concert on June 1 opens with the Playboyz, which includes Gary Cline of Purdy. Better Than Nothin’, the second band, is based in Marionville. Porter Union, the closing act, has ties to Springfield.

The July 6 concert will open with Screen Door Serenade, a duo with Bo Prock of Purdy and NaTasha Davies. Rocked N Loaded has members from Seneca and Oklahoma. The concert will close with music by the Black Moods, based in Wheaton.

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