MANSFIELD -- A sure sign of summer in Mansfield is the annual Final Friday concert series.
Organized by Downtown Mansfield Inc. (DMI) for the last Friday of the month from May to September, the shows kick off May 31 at the Brickyard with performances by Chad & Lorrie, the Terry Douglas Band and County Line.
"It’s going to be a great season," said DMI’s chief development officer, Jamie Thompson. "We've seen the Brickyard become everyone’s backyard BBQ type event. It’s for everyone of all backgrounds and ages. It's fun for everyone, and the lineup, we think, is impeccable."
This summer's series includes a variety of music, with both local and regional musicians and new and returning acts. The lineup features Richland County acts like the Red Ball Jets, Ricky Mitchell and Alter Ego and welcomes musicians like the Andy Shaw Band and Terry Lee for their first-ever performance on the Brickyard stage.
The second show of the season, set for Friday, June 28, includes performances by Ricky Mitchell, Jimi Vincent Band and Terry Lee. Then, three returning acts take the stage on Friday, July 26. These are Jai Merina, Acoustic Edge and Red Ball Jets.
And on Aug. 30, three others will make their Brickyard debut. Paris Stewart, TBA (the band) and Andy Shaw Band will all make their first Final Friday appearances.
The final show of the season, set for Friday, Sept. 27, features The Wanderers, Honey and Blue and Alter Ego.
All shows begin at 5:30 p.m. and end by about 10:30 p.m. Admission is free, and people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, as no other seating is provided.
Refreshments will be available for purchase. These include a variety of beers, including some from The Phoenix Brewing Company, wines from Cypress Hill Winery and non-alcoholic beverages. Those who purchased tokens for these items last season can bring their tokens this year to be redeemed at any show.
Food trucks will also be present. These include Panchos Tacos, Deja Food, Chaos Cafe, Slap Daddy's, Truckin' Trav, Mark's Homemade Ice Cream and Miss Lil's.
Thompson encourages Richland County residents and others from the surrounding region will visit downtown Mansfield for a Final Friday concert.
"We want to get people accustomed to coming to downtown. We want to get new faces in the door," she said. "For us, it's an opportunity to showcase downtown."