Miss Jacksonville Pageant, The Steepwater Band Kick off 2023 Downtown Concert Series Friday

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 1, 2023 at 11:11am

An annual summer tradition returns to downtown Jacksonville Friday, kicking off with a brand-new event.

The Jacksonville Main Street Summer Concert Series hits the ground running for 2023 with the Steepwater Band taking the stage Friday night.

Ahead of the usual pre-concert festivities, the first annual Miss Jacksonville pageant, sponsored by Jacksonville Main Street, will be held before the show starts at 5:00 pm.

Jacksonville Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe says the organizers of the pageant approached Main Street in an effort to give young women in District 117 the chance to represent their community just as the Morgan County Fair Queen and other area town celebration queens get to do.

The contest includes an interview portion, an on-stage question, and a party dress or evening gown portion.

Once the new Miss Jacksonville is crowned, the Summer Concert Series takes off with a returning favorite The Steepwater Band, which Tighe says, many in the area didn’t get to hear the first time around.

Steepwater was here a couple of years ago and unfortunately they got rained out so a lot of people were not able to listen to their talents, but they did a great job. They were a really really good band and so we thought, let’s give them another chance so that more people can hear how good they are.”

Tighe says everything will stay pretty much the same this season aside from the sale of libations. She says can beer will be offered this year as opposed to draft, and ticket sales are being moved closer to the beer wagon.

Tighe says part of the charm of the concert series is it’s like having an unofficial city-wide reunion. “It’s great! People come and gather and you see people that you haven’t seen for a very long time. You get to meet new people. It’s a wonderful representation of our town. A great cross-section of people and everybody’s welcome.”

The Downtown Summer Concert Series is free to attend. Tighe says that would not be possible without the major support of the many sponsors that help keep the free music playing downtown.

Our community, even beyond Jacksonville, has been incredibly supportive and there’s no way that we could do it without them. They really step up every year, and I think that is a good testament to the kind of event that it is.

It is really inclusive, and you know, people from smaller towns around here come. We’ve had sponsors from smaller towns around here and we really appreciate all of that sponsorship support.”

The evening begins with the Miss Jacksonville Pageant at 5:00 pm. Drink sales open at 6, and The Steepwater Band takes the stage from 7:00 to 9:00 Friday night on the plaza in downtown Jacksonville.

For more information, go to jacksonvillemainstreet.com or the Jacksonville Main Street Facebook page.