Gal Friday to perform at annual 1st Friday event

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The City of Wilson’s annual free community concert series 1st Fridays on the Lawn will kick off this Friday night, July 7 with a performance by country music band Gal Friday.

The concerts are held on the Wilson County Library lawn in historic downtown Wilson, 249 Nash St. The concerts are free family-friendly events that also include a kids’ area with free activities for children, local food vendors and informational community booths. The Human Relations Commission sponsors the free community concert series as a way to celebrate diversity through music.

The country trio Gal Friday is composed of three sisters, Ashley, Lauren and Melissa. They were born and raised on the love of music. They have been performing live for 10 years.

Gal Friday’s music is an irreverent marriage of country and Southern rock. They write their songs from experience, hopes, and love. 

Gal Friday has opened up for Keith Urban, Martina McBride and Gary Allen, Wynonna Judd, Travis Tritt and Kristian Bush of the Grammy-award winning duo SugarLand, to name a few. They headlined the Pit Row Party for the Bank of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, sang the National Anthem on Speed TV’s “Pinks All Out” Episode at zMax’s Dragway in Charlotte, the Coca Cola 600 pole-night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the “Legends Millions Race”, and Top Gear 300. They were also the winners in the Pepsi Southern Original Regional Showcase 2015.

During intermission, the audience will be entertained and invited to interact. The Loyal Leisure Club cheerleaders will perform. The group of senior citizens will show off their charms with a variety of upbeat cheers. Then, family teams will be invited to compete on the lawn to win prizes. Intermission will conclude with the singing of the National Anthem by the Gal Friday band as the Human Relations Commission recognizes those serving our country in the armed services.

“The intermission time is awesome because it gives the audience a chance to get involved and interact with the Human Relation Commission,” said Theresa Mathis, event coordinator. “We always have door prizes to give away and this year will have family competitions that should be fun for everyone.”

To beat the heat, the Wilson Youth Council will also host Water Wars in the free kids’ area. Water Wars are large interactive water balloon battle stations. It is both fun, competitive and you will get wet. Kids can launch water balloons with large sling shots at the opposing team. The youth council will host a different activity in the kids’ area each month.

Food vendors will be open for business on Jackson Street, next to the lawn. Vendors on Friday will include Mount Hebron Masonic Lodge No. 42 fish fry, Tate of Texas snow cones and shaved ice drinks, Jerry on Wheels with funnel cakes, candy apples and treats and Everett’s concession with hamburgers, hot dogs and fries. New to the vending this week will be 454 Grill offering sandwich melts including a grilled Hawaiian melt, Italian melt and the classic Cuban.

The Human Relations office aims to engage, educate and celebrate with residents at every sponsored event. During 1st Fridays on the Lawn, local community organizations will have educational displays and give away door prizes. Organizations participating this week include the Girl Scouts, Legal Aid, Wilson Tobs and N.C. Wesleyan College.

“Being summer, we know the weather can be hot and sunny or quickly turn to rain,” said Renee Smith, director of Human Relations, “but either way the show will go on. We hope the citizens of Wilson will come out for this family friendly event and bring along a friend that’s never attended before.”

The concert will be held rain or shine. In case of inclement weather, the concerts will move indoors to the Arts Council’s Boykin Center theatre in downtown. The schedule remains the same with the doors opening at 5 p.m. and the music starting at 6 p.m. Some food vendors will park curb-side and some community booths may set up in the lobby. The event is free and family friendly.