Fridays in the summer are a happily busy time in downtown Harrisonburg, thanks in large part due to two great events that have provided art, music, and entertainment to the community for many years. These events are First Fridays Downtown, now taking place on the first Friday of each month, year-round, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at 33 downtown locations, and Fridays on the Square, an annual music festival celebrating its 23rd season this year.
Fridays on the Square brings the community together each year to celebrate downtown Harrisonburg’s revitalization with free live music for the whole family. Events are held on historic Court Square every other Friday from June 7 to August 16 from 7:00-9:00 pm. In the event of inclement weather, concerts will be held at Turner Pavilion 228 South Liberty Street, behind the Harrisonburg City Municipal Building. All events are free and open to the public. Event attendees are encouraged to order take-out from a downtown restaurant or pack their own picnic dinner bring it to the square to enjoy during the concerts.
This year’s concert series will feature a wide range of sounds, including Americana, bluegrass, blues, Latin, Cuban, jazz and funk jazz fusion, roots rock, and Western and vintage swing. The much-anticipated line-up includes local and regional favorites Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Barbara Martin & Liz Barnes Quartet, Robert Jospé & Inner Rhythm, The Judy Chops, Bryan Elijah Smith & The Wild Hearts, and Kat & The Travelers.
This Friday, June 7, marks the season opener and will feature progressive bluegrass band, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge. Keel and his powerhouse ensemble, Natural Bridge, aptly named after his home state’s geological wonder, is one of the most powerful, innovative, and all-out exhilarating acoustic groups performing today. From his bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia, Keel has integrated his solid musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to flatpicking the guitar and composing original music. This event’s gold sponsor is the Darrin-McHone Charitable Foundation.
Other shows featured in the 2013 SEASON SCHEDULE include:
JUNE 21 | Barbara Martin & Liz Barnes Quartet
JULY 5 | Robert Jospé & Inner Rhythm
latin, cuban, funk jazz fusion
JULY 19 | The Judy Chops
roots rock, americana & western swing
AUG 2 | Bryan Elijah Smith & The Wild Hearts
AUG 16 | Kat & The Travelers
backroads boogie, vintage swing & jazz-blues
For more information about Fridays on the Square, including a complete schedule of events, please visit www.fridaysonthesquare.com or like the series at Facebook.com/FridaysOnTheSquare to receive weekly news, weather updates, and event photos.
Fridays on the Square is made possible by many generous sponsors and volunteers, including: Platinum Friends: James Madison University | Gold Friends: Doctors Michael & Jerri Alexiou • Darrin-McHone Charitable Foundation | Silver Friends: 250metro.com • Blue Mountain Housewrights • Davenport Windows & Doors • Hugo A. Kohl, III, LLC • Lantz Construction Company • Laughing Dog T-Shirts & Gifts • Rick’s Cantina • Shenandoah Bicycle Company/Pulp • Signs USA • Joshua Wilton House Restaurant & Inn | Bronze Friends: The Beauty Spa • Clementine • Crutchfield • Eastern Mennonite University • Garrison Press • Great Outdoors Landscaping, LLC • Green Valley Bookfair • Harrisonburg Farmers Market • Little Grill Collective • Mast Landscapes, Inc • The Sole Source • Phillip Updike, Realtor
First Fridays Downtown, presented in partnership by Arts Council of the Valley and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, is a monthly celebration of culture and community held from 5-8 pm on the first Friday of each month throughout the year. Stroll the streets of downtown Harrisonburg and enjoy extended hours at many shops and businesses while viewing art and enjoying performances by local artists, musicians, and more. The 2013 season features 33 downtown locations and is a great way to explore and support our downtown and local arts community!
See below for a list of locations, or download a map here.
First Fridays Downtown 2013 Participating Locations: (Special June exhibits/promotions details in blue)
Hardesty-Higgins House Visitors Center | 212 S. Main Street • Open for First Fridays Downtown, the Visitor Center will be offering free travel information and maps, become a museum detective in the Valley Turnpike Museum, view interpretive film in the Civil War Orientation center, stop by New Leaf Pastry Kitchen for a sweet or savory treat, and shop in Rocktown Gift Shoppe after 5pm for discounts on select merchandise. Restrooms and parking onsite.
A.E. Conner Fine Art Studio | 66 E. Market St
Artful Dodger | 47 Court Square
Artisans Downtown Gallery & Gifts | 320 S Main St • Polly Holden Nunn, Multi-media works and Judith Townsend Rocchiccioli, Silk Painting demonstration and Book Signing – Chaos at Crescent City
Arts Council of the Valley’s Darrin-McHone Gallery | 311 S. Main St | Women’s Work- Photography, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture and Installations by six local women artists – Lynda Bostrom, Lynn Lough, Morgan Fink, Denise Kanter Allen, Brandy Somers, and Ragan McManus
Asbury United Methodist Church | 205 S Main St | Craig Baugher, Stained Glass Artist, will answer questions and D. Lee Beard, CIT Assistant Director, Media Production Services at JMU, will share images of his project, Stained Glass Windows of the Shenandoah Valley, at 7pm
August Enterprise/TJ’s Dermagraphics | 91 N Main St
Beyond | 50 W Water St
Blue Nile | 181 N Main St | Downstairs: Kyle Herr- Painting, Oil Pastels – Grumpy Blues and Other Works | Upstairs: Mary Yoder- Painting, Block Printing – Nostalgia
Capital Ale House | 41-A Court Square
Court Square Theater | 41-F Court Square | FREE – V.O.I.C.E. will perform at 7pm, including a preview for their upcoming concert, Name that Show on V-tv (showcasing a variety of T.V. theme songs). More info at valleyarts.org/court-square-theater.
Downtown Wine and Gourmet | 41-C Court Square
Dragonflies Toys | 49-E. W Water St
Duo: New & Used Clothing | 108 S Main St
Earth & Tea | 120 S Main St
Explore More Discovery Museum | 150 S Main St
Granny Longlegs | 16 S Main St
Harrisonburg Farmers Market | on Main St in front of the library | Molly Boland Stover of The Quilting Shed
The Lady Jane Shop | 128 W Market St, Ste 101 | Phil Q, Singer-Songwriter
Larkin Arts | 61 Court Square | Brian Sampson, Mixed Media and Music by Elyse Krachman, Singer-Songwriter
Laughing Dog T-Shirts & Gifts | 82 S Main St
Linda S. Hoover, CFP, Ameriprise Financial | 165 S Main St, Ste E | Gregory Versen, Photography
Midtowne Market | 20 W Water St
New Leaf Pastry Kitchen | 212 S Main St | The WoodArt Studio will feature functional art, including cooking utensils, jewelry, bowls, and more.
OASIS Fine Art & Craft | 103 S Main St
Over the Moon | 64 S Mason St | Hannah Katherine, Mixed Media
RubyRed Shoe Boutique | 128 W Market St, Ste 102 | Phil Q, Singer-Songwriter
Shenandoah Bicycle Co. and PULP Smoothie Bar | 135 S Main St
Spitzer Art Center | 486 West Market St | Central Shenandoah Arts Member’s Show- Multi-Media
Ten Thousand Villages | 181 S Main St
Virginia Quilt Museum | 301 S Main St
Whitesel Music | 102 S Main St
The Yellow Button | 192 S Main St | Rachel Herr, Photography
Special Attractions: Horse-Drawn Rides with Classic Carriage. Anytime between 5-8 p.m., join Sonny and Cher, two beautiful Belgian Draft Horses, on a 20-minute tour around downtown Harrisonburg. Rides depart from the Massanutten Regional Library 174 S. Main St
Special Thanks to First Fridays Downtown’s 2013 Sponsors: StellarOne Bank and Sidecar Studio
We hope you’ll come downtown this Friday, June 7, to enjoy an evening full of art, music, and entertainment!
Nicole Martorana is the Editor of the Do Downtown blog and the Promotions Manager for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.