Opp plans downtown concert series

Published 2:33 am Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Opp Chamber of Commerce will hold its first “Downtown Get Down” on May 17, to get citizens involved in changing Opp for the better.

“The idea began to form several months ago,” Chamber director Kelly Brandin said. “I presented the idea to have a summer spectacular to the board of directors a couple of months ago and we have formed it into this Downtown Get Down. The first idea we had was having a family movie night under the stars in the stadium. We mulled that over and started planning that until we realized that the Kelpanan Society used to do an event like that and they were thinking about starting it up again. So, we started thinking that we could work in conjunction with them.”

After going to the Opp Downtown Redevelopment group’s “Catch the Vision” meeting, Brandin said that several of the committees started talking about having musical events downtown. 

“The DRA made their big presentation and started talking about different musical events,” Brandin said. “So, we went to that and then we had our own strategic planning session in February. During that session we would break into our committees and plan for the next year and forward. We all sort of took that idea of a summer spectacular and combined it with the ‘Catch the Vision,’ and started saying why don’t we start small and do some concerts.”

The concert event will open with the Straughn High School String Band.

“I spoke with their director Taylor Weeks and he told me that they are a 14-piece band,” Brandin said. “So, the committee procured that band and the chamber will be the one to pay them.”

Several downtown businesses are getting in on the action by providing specials during the event.

“I started contacting downtown businesses even if they weren’t members of the chamber,” Brandin said. “Such as Southern Style, Rancho Grande, Tasty Treats, Sweet T’s Café and Bakery, Young’s Florist, S and D Flea Market and A.J. Outdoors. We weren’t trying to alienate any businesses, in any way shape or form, but our focus was downtown revitalization. Also, I just didn’t think some businesses fit in that niche, because I was thinking more of restaurants and retail businesses that could sell clothing or shoes and make up and jewelry. We also made the decision to not have any vendors at the event as well. We will only have one ‘vendor’ and it is going to be the people from the mental health center coming to serve popcorn, which will be free.”

Brandin hopes that each time they host the event it will get larger.

“This is a trial run,” Brandin said. “We may have to make several tweaks, but we are very excited. We encourage everyone to get down and catch the vision. This isn’t only for the people of Opp, but for everyone in the county. We want everyone to come out and experience this event.”

The Downtown Get Down will be every third Friday starting May 17, from 6:30 p.m., until 8:30 p.m. It is a free event located at Danley Plaza in Opp.