Prescott's outdoor concert, movie series kicks off
Originally Published: June 5, 2014 6:03 a.m.
PRESCOTT - More than 30 bands, a dozen movies, and a popular local singing competition will all take center stage at the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza this summer for the City of Prescott's Concert Series 2014.The series, which kicked off earlier this week, features a full schedule of free entertainment in the cool shade of the courthouse plaza. It will take place most summer nights from June to early September.Over the years, the summertime event has become a Prescott mainstay, providing a stage for well-established bands, as well as newcomers.This year alone, Prescott Special Events Manager Becky Karcie estimates that about a half-dozen newly formed bands will be among the performers.Generally, the series devotes Tuesdays to jazz, while Wednesdays feature a "Movie in the Park" event. Thursdays will showcase the Prescott Karaoke Idol, with the Central Arizona Band rotating in on the third Thursdays of the month. Fridays and Saturdays will feature a variety of musical genres.Most of the entertainment will begin at 6:30 p.m. or 7 p.m., although Karcie notes that the Wednesday night movies will begin at dusk, which could vary from about 8:10 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.Tuesday and Thursday acts will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., while Friday and Saturday night entertainment is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. The schedule also includes Summer Music Sundays at the Gateway Mall from 1 to 3 p.m.Tonight, fans of the local karaoke competition, Prescott Idol, will be able to take in the first installment of the summer-long contest.Although this week's Idol date did not make it onto the city's printed schedules, Karcie said the competition will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m.Sign-up for the performances is through radio stations Kolt Country/Wolf/The Canyon, at 776-7005. The competition is open to singers ages 13 and older.The contest has grown in popularity through the years, and Karcie said it featured about 120 singers throughout last year's 10 weeks of competition.The finale, which will pick an overall winner, is scheduled for Sept. 4.The Wednesday movie nights also caught on last summer, Karcie said. "It started to really grow," she said of the movie attendance.Much of the appeal is in the setting. "You can be outside, you can bring the kids, and there are great places to get snacks," Karcie said, urging movie-goers to patronize downtown businesses.This year, the city's schedule includes family-movie fare ranging from June 11's "The Game Plan" to Sept. 3's "Sahara."The city schedule includes the movie names, along with the ratings, which Karcie said range from G to PG13. "We ask parents to be aware of the ratings," she said.For the past several years, the city has asked the bands to play without compensation, and Karcie said the groups have responded well. "In the last two years, there's been no problem (filling the schedule)," she said. "I have people calling now. They want to be part of it."Instead of paying the bands, the city asks the audience to donate in a donation jar. "I want to thank the public for making sure the bands that are giving of their time receive (compensation)," Karcie said.Because of some last-minute scheduling changes, Karcie said the printed schedule did not include all of the up-to-date information, including: Aug. 9 - the Tridon Band, a rock band from Phoenix; Sept. 5 - Don Cheek and the CheekTones (folk, rock, classic, and their own music); and Sept. 6 - The Band Rewind (classic rock and covers).In addition, she said, the Prescott Idol competition will not take place on July 3, as stated in the printed schedule.The schedule is available on the city's website at: Summer Series ScheduleFollow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks.