Pack your folding chairs, blankets and coolers and come to Town Square Park on Friday evenings because Live at Five is back in full swing. The event is a free, outdoor concert series in Downtown Hattiesburg and takes place on Friday evenings in the spring and fall from 5 to 9 p.m.
Local blues legend Tommie, “T-Bone” Pruitt and the Rhythm Rockers kicked off the 2019 Spring season of Live at Five on April 5.
Sarah Newton started Live at Five in the Spring of 2007. Newton said the idea formed when she was president of the Downtown Association.
“This is our twelfth 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 a great impact on the community because it brings people together.
“I think the event helps bring people together in a way that there aren’t other opportunities for people to come together,” Newton said. “That’s what makes this event so special.”
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.’”
“Live at Five has become an event that is synonymous with Hattiesburg’s quality of life,” Mayor Toby Barker said. “It has become part of the very fabric and culture of our city. Traditions begin because people have passion and ideas and want to do something for the community. Traditions are sustained when the community goes and attends and supports these events.”
Marye Runnels and her husband John own South Mouth Deli and have been food vendors at Live at Five for the past three years.
“We enjoy the people and the atmosphere,” Runnels said. “I think that the staff is really easy to work with. They’re very supportive, and all the people who participate are just awesome. It’s a great atmosphere, and I love going down there and hearing music. It’s just a fun time.”
Local artist, Bill Anderson, uses Live at Five as a way to showcase his art to the community.
“My experience with Live at Five is it’s always welcoming to local artists who want to get their work out there,” Anderson said. “Even before I was selling my art, I was regularly attending Live at Five.
“I like the way Live at Five brings the community together to enjoy music and food. I think that atmosphere draws people to hang out with their friends and family and that’s why it has become a staple,” Anderson said.
This season of Live at Five will include performances by The Red Clay Strays on April 12, Neal Francis on April 26, Luke Winslow King on May 3, Sugarcane Jane on May 10 and Soul Sessions on May 17.
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.