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3:48 PM Mon, Nov. 12th

Summer concert series offers free entertainment in the shade

Taya Jones of Prescott sings “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles during the first performance of the 5th annual Prescott Idol at the courthouse plaza in downtown Prescott.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier, file photo

Taya Jones of Prescott sings “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles during the first performance of the 5th annual Prescott Idol at the courthouse plaza in downtown Prescott.

PRESCOTT - For al fresco music, movies, and karaoke, the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza is once again the place to be on a summer evening.

Beginning this week, the City of Prescott's annual Summer Concert Series takes to the stage with a full schedule of free entertainment. The series will take place most summer nights from June to early September.

Prescott Special Events Manager Becky Karcie says the series has grown in popularity over the years. Hundreds regularly flock to the plaza to sit in the cool shade and take in the entertainment.

Beginning tonight, June 4, the first installment of the Prescott Idol karaoke-singing competition is set to kick off, pitting amateur singers against one another in a summer-long contest.

Prescott Idol will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on most summer Thursdays (the Central AZ Concert Band rotates in on the third Thursdays of the month). The Idol finale is set for Sept. 3.

The Wolf radio station (www.967thewolf.com) handles the performance sign-up for Prescott Idol. Its website touts the summer event as "one of Northern Arizona's most popular talent competitions."

Over the years, the website states, "We've heard over 600 contestants and crowned four winners."

As many as 20 contestants compete each week for a chance to advance to the finale. Votes are cast at each event, as well as online for a week after the show. The top two vote-getters each week will move on to the finale.

Along with Idol, the Summer Concert Series includes:

• Tuesdays - Jazz on the Square, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

• Wednesdays - Movies in the Park (starts at dusk).

• Thursdays - Prescott Idol, and, every third Thursday of the month, the Central Arizona Concert Band (starting about 6:40/6:45, and running for an hour).

• Friday and Saturday - various genres, 7 to 9 p.m.

New this year will be a disco party from 7 to 9 p.m., July 31. "We've had a lot of people request disco," Karcie said. "We're asking people to dress up in '70s disco wear."

The evening will feature a DJ playing music from the disco era, and prizes for the best

costumes and the best disco dancers.

To get people in the mood for the July 31 event, Karcie said the concert series will feature the band Funk Frequency, playing disco and funk, on Saturday, July 25.

The concert series schedule is available on rack cards, which will be distributed at the event, as well as at other venues around town.

For the past several years, the bands have agreed to play in the series for free, and the audience is asked to tip to compensate them for their time.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-642-0951.