Concert series kicks off Friday


You can bet that organizers never had a clue that the Gonzales Main Street Concert Series would be around for a full decade, but here we are, about to usher in another month of downtown dancing and socializing on Friday nights in June.

Organizing a free event of this magnitude takes substantial planning and fundraising, with five nights of free music to book. That's why you see the slew of company logos around the stage, all paying tribute to the people that make this happen. And to the Main Street board of directors, it's a special bit of satisfaction that sees yet another season kick off in style.

Some barnyard animals —no, that's not a band—will begin the night, with a free petting zoo happening on the Square from 5-6 p.m. Local wranglers Camels and Critters will be bringing their many creatures out for the children to love on. If you're not there early enough for that, the zoo will be open all night with admission charged for access to the animals after 6 p.m.

Children will also be entertained with a bounce house, tasty refreshments like snow cones, and plenty of space to run and play. For the older crowd, there's plenty of food, beverages, and arts and crafts to keep folks occupied until the music starts and even well into the night.

For newcomers to the Concert Series, this is just your typical small town, old school gathering of friends and family in the historic downtown setting. People often bring their chairs or a blanket to catch a space on the lawn. Others utilize the standing tables across the edge of the dance area in which tall tales are told and friends catch up on current events.

The pinnacle of the evening is the free dance and show. Coming to town is Jeff Woolsey and the Dancehall Kings, a country and western music outfit that has its roots in traditional legacy artists like Ray Price, Johnny Bush, and George Jones. Their honkytonk sounds have earned them the Ameripolitan Honkytonk Group of the Year Award in 2016 as well as the Academy of Western Artists “Pure Country Group of the Year” award. As Woolsey puts it, “If you're not keeping them on the dance floor, you're not doing your job.

The music starts at 7 p.m. and lasts until 10 p.m. The event is free to attend but guests are reminded to leave their glass bottles at home.