Jacksonville Main Street ends Downtown Celebration

By Ryne Turke on August 25, 2016 at 7:06am

Jacksonville’s Downtown Celebration has come to an end.

Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe confirmed on Wednesday that the annual summer event, which originated in 2012, will be replaced with a 10-week concert series.

Tighe says the Jacksonville Main Street Board has discussed the future of the Downtown Celebration for several months. Tighe feels the success of the recent Levitt AMP Concert Series influenced the board’s decision.

“We realized the concert series is overwhelmingly successful and exceeded our expectations. We see a lot more opportunities with a concert series than a single-day event. Considering the time and resources and volunteer hours that go into the Downtown Celebration, we see a lot better opportunities to spread that out over a ten-week concert series,” says Tighe.

Tighe says the biggest negative against the Downtown Celebration was battling Mother Nature.

“Bottom line is that with the Downtown Celebration you have one day to get it right. If the weather isn’t cooperative then you are out of luck. The last three years or so the weather has not been cooperative. This last year the wind just killed us. We had 30 to 40 mph winds all day long. At least with the concert series we have 10 different dates,” says Tighe.

Tighe explains switching to a ten-week format will not only allow the committee to develop a backup plan for moving the event indoors, but increase exposure and partnerships in the community as well.

As for the entertainment, Tighe is banking on Jacksonville winning another $25,000 grant from the Levitt AMP Concert Series. The nation-wide program selects 15 small to mid-sized towns each year.

Tighe says Jacksonville Main Street plans on moving forward with a concert series even if the city is unsuccessful in its attempt at the Levitt AMP grant.

Voting for the Levitt Amp Concert Series begins in November.

Tentative dates for the concert series are June 2nd through August 4th.