Hattiesburg residents are once again packing their folding chairs, blankets and coolers and taking them to Town Square Park for the return of Live at Five.
The event is a free, outdoor live music series in Downtown Hattiesburg and takes place on Friday evenings from 5-9 p.m. until the fall.
Local blues legend Tommie “T-Bone” Pruitt and the Rhythm Rockers kicked off Live at Five this year on April 6 and Young Valley performed April 13.
Sarah Newton started Live at Five in the spring of 2008. Newton said the idea formed when she was president of the Downtown Association.
“This is our tenth year,” Newton said. “My parents were involved with a program held in Baton Rouge and suggested I start a concert series in Hattiesburg. In a way, I helped start Live at Five as a way to pay tribute to my father.”
Newton said Live at Five has grown over the past five years.
“I love knowing that people enjoy it,” Newton said. “Even my kids ask me ‘When does it start?’ They call Town Square Park ‘Live at Five’ Park.’”
Mayor Toby Barker expressed his appreciation for what Live at Five does for the Hattiesburg community.
“Live at Five has become a gathering of anyone who loves Hattiesburg,” Barker said. “Every bit of the diversity that we enjoy and we celebrate in this city, whether from neighborhoods or age, everyone is here. There’s great music. You have a ton of vendors. And it’s a great display of community in our city.”
“I like the fact that the community has gotten behind this event,” Stacey Hall said. “It’s very family-oriented, so after getting off work on a Friday, it’s the place to be.”
“I come to enjoy the music, the food, the flavors the fragrances. It kind of reminds me of a little festival in New Orleans where I grew up” Lance Hegwood said. “It’s family oriented. People are here with their families and their dogs. That’s what I love about it.”
The performer for April 20 has yet to be announced.
This season of Live at Five will include performances by Sput Seawright & Biscuit Kids on April 27, Shaun Martin on May 4 and Cary Hudson on May 11.
For more information on Live at Five check out their Facebook Page Live at Five H’Burg or at www.hattiesburglivemusic.com/live-at-five.