A first-ever event to help fund the downtown concert series in Jacksonville is kicking off a little earlier than planned.
The first ever Jacksonville Main Street Fund-Fest is this Saturday. This new event is a fundraiser to help continue the Downtown Concert Series in 2023.
Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters is the featured artist, and due to the much colder temperatures called for Saturday night, the event has been moved up and will now start at 2:00 Saturday afternoon and run until 6:00.
The Fund-Fest was the idea of several Jacksonville area business owners who attended a benefit for the late Doug Warcup who passed away in late November. Warcup was a well-known sound technician in the area, including for several downtown concerts over the years.
Jacksonville Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe says Captian Geech donated a performance to the Warcup benefit silent auction, and that’s when a few people in attendance said, its’ time to bring Geech downtown.
“We have a list of sponsors that helped us back in January to win the auction and bring this event to Jacksonville, and the square, and basically the whole community. So we truly thank them for their generosity and their involvement right at the very beginning. Then this just grew to an even bigger event and I hope to see everyone there. It’s a great way to send the summer off.”
Tighe says beyond the concert, the event gives Main Street the chance to pay some overdue respect to area supporters and volunteers. “We are also going to be giving out some much-deserved awards that we are very late in handing out.
We were not able to have our awards banquet in 2020 or 21 because of Covid, so this provided us an opportunity to finally honor the businesses and volunteers that have supported us through the years. So you’ll see some great honors during that time and then the band will start right after.”
The 2020 and 2021 Jacksonville Main Street Volunteer and Business of the year along with other awards will be announced at 2:00 pm Saturday ahead of the concert.
Tighe says though there’s much more to the event than awards and free music.
“Again a free concert downtown, and it’s great to finally have J-Bird play on the square. I’ve been hoping to have this happen at some point and it just finally all came together through this event.
Also, we’ve come up with a lot of great things to go along with the concert. There’s a 50/50 raffle and a chance to win a trip to St. Louis and four Cardinal tickets, and it looks like it’s just going to be a great day.”
Food and beer vendors will also be on hand for the event. The concert is free, and all other proceeds go toward the 2023 Downtown Concert Series. Tighe says the 2023 sponsors will be announced at 5:30 pm.
Tax-deductible donations can be made during the event with cash, checks made payable to Jacksonville Main Street, or through the “Donate” button on www.jacksonvillemainstreet.com
The Fund-Fest Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters event is now happening earlier Saturday from 2:00 to 6:00 pm on the central park plaza in downtown Jacksonville.