Local residents, including visitors in the city can now spend their Wednesday afternoons, having picnics and listening to local music on a designated lawn of the county courthouse downtown.
The city’s “Lunchtime on the Lawn” is a pervious program, which has returned after its launching season last summer. The program brings local musicians, playing local sounds and music from 11 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon every Wednesday of the week. The inauguration of the program started June the previous year.
According to the Franklin-Simpson Renaissance executive director Amy Ellis, the program was given a try last summer, and went really well. The Lunchtime on the Lawn program started again this month, with hopes of continuing the program through the month of July.
Ellis said the main goal of the Lunchtime on the Lawn project is to bring traffic into the city downtown throughout the day, while showcasing local talents. She said the program was initially created with the assistance and support of the downtown merchants association.
The Lunchtime on the Lawn generally draws more than 100 individuals for each concert, Ellis said. People can come and stay for just ten minutes, or they can stay for the maximum of two hours.
The Brickyard Café co-owner Robert Stupar said the event last year did not have sufficient budget. While the Lunchtime on the Lawn just started out last year, he said, Stupar provided lunch for the featured musicians in exchange for their performance in the Lunchtime on the Lawn. He said it was just his little way of helping the program and the local musicians as well.
Stupar added that people often come to his restaurant during the event, picking up box lunches to eat throughout the program.
Pineapple Lily owner Jennifer Mowry also said that she has kept her store’s doors open during the Lunchtime on the Lawn program. Her shop normally has drop-in customers, considering the people who are attending the program, she said. Mowry’s store is a boutique that offers clothing, baby items, and home interior stuff among others. There are also baby and bridal registries. Mowry said her place has been considered as the one-stop shop or a souvenir shop for the program’s attendees.
Besides the lunchtime performances, there are also Summer Nights concerts on the courthouse lawn. These performances are held mostly on Friday evenings, and are expected to last until the month of August. During the big bands Friday, the sounds will be provided by the Craig Duncan Orchestra.
The activities, both during the lunchtime and evening are expected to draw more people into the area. It will become not only a sort of local gathering for the local residents and tourists, but also a way of boosting the city’s businesses and tourism.
So far, the Lunchtime on the Lawn and the Summer Nights have been successful events for the city, while inviting more attendees to come and join the fair, enjoying music, indulging in food, shopping, and basically participating in the community event.