By TRAVIS HERRMANN
For The Outlook
The Strand Sessions concert series is wrapping up its yearly run with the fifth and final concert Thursday. The Lake Martin Young Professionals present the series and are happy with this year’s performances.
“We’re excited to welcome Bailey Ingle to Strand Park to close out Strand Sessions,” Alexander City Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Business Development Jacob Meacham said in a press release.
Ingle is a Hoover, Alabama, native who shot to fame singing with Keith Urban as a teen. Ingle will perform from 6-9 p.m.
“She puts the finishing touches on another successful season of live music in downtown Alex City,” Meacham said. “We’ve had some really good crowds welcome the artists and bands that have taken the stage this spring and summer.”
The concert series has been part of an ongoing effort by the Young Professionals to highlight and support local businesses, many of whom are sponsoring the event.
“This is the third year that we have done the Strand Sessions,” Meacham said. “Five months of free live music wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the businesses that sponsor Strand Sessions and make it possible.”
He stated that the individual and business sponsors enabled expanding the program by an additional month. The free evening concerts have proven to be a draw from around the Lake Martin area.
“The crowds have been pretty consistent across each year,” Meacham said. “We usually see a couple hundred at each performance.”
Meacham expected to see a large crowd on Aug. 2. The July 5 crowd was smaller than normal falling just after the holiday.
“I think people are back in town for school now and they won’t be wiped out from 4th of July,” he said.
Attendees are encouraged to enjoy food and drinks. Alcohol is allowed and businesses in the Arts & Entertainment district provide carry out options to enjoy on the green.
“For any event in the district, people are allowed to purchase any type of food or beverage and walk around to enjoy the event,” Meacham said.
The special event permit for the Strand Sessions also makes it legal to bring your own food and beverages, but the Young Professionals encourage people to support their local businesses while enjoying the event.
“I think more people enjoy the convenience of walking across the street and having options available,” Meacham said. “I think it has been good financially for the food businesses in the area. All in all, we’re very happy with the way the events have turned out.”
With the year wrapping up Meacham looks forward to Strand Sessions in 2019. “We always love to grow the number of people coming to this free music event,” he said.
The series has presented five performances on the first Thursday of each month since April 5 with singer Jack Stearns. May featured Daniel Raine and Taylor Hunnicut.
Country star Kyle Wilson appeared with Big Sexy & The Twins in June and last month The Talismen performed.
“We try to bring a diverse sound to the Strand Sessions,” Meacham said. “Everyone really enjoys it.”