Chamber Member of the Week: Friday After 5

With the 25th anniversary season set to kick off May 21, Friday After 5 officials are excited to offer the community a summer full of live entertainment.

This year’s festival will be a mix of old favorites and new additions — and possibly some big surprises along the way.

FA5 Executive Director Francine Marseille said though it may look a little different this year to ensure safety, the festival will go on with great entertainment each week.

“It’s such an amazing event. It’s family and community oriented,” she said. “There’s just so much about Friday After 5 that more than just Owensboro needs to know about.”

Marseille hinted that the opening weekend could be something spectacular, but couldn’t go into the details just yet. 

Though they are still ironing out the final details with hopes to release an official lineup in the coming weeks, Marseille said FA5 will offer a wide variety of music, including plenty of local talent. The lineup will feature everyone from young rising artists to long-time favorites, with genres ranging from country to blues and rock to gospel.

“We just have such a spectacular lineup all the way from beginning to end,” Marseille said. “We have a lot of great bands coming in having some fun in different genres all the way up and down the riverfront.”

After the addition of the Holiday Inn Riverfront stage, FA5 will now offer a full “mile of music” downtown — with stages at the RiverPark Center’s patio, courtyard, and Canon Hall anchoring the other end.

Live music will also be at the overlook stage, the outdoor stage behind the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and the pier behind the convention Center. Marseille said FA5 will also be partnering with other venues and artists such as the VFW, Lure Seafood and Grille, and Andy Brasher.

In addition to the music, FA5 is planning to offer some other special entertainment opportunities — including working with the Owensboro Air Show on Aug. 15-17 and HydroFair on Aug. 20-22. She said there will also be Christmas in July — complete with a visit from Santa Claus — and possibly some ice skating.

Marseille said she’s glad FA5 was able to return after the entire 2020 season was cancelled.

“It’s so important for the economy here in Owensboro and for our sponsors,” she said. “But it’s also important for the people. Our families that have been feeling like they’ve been locked up will have a chance to get out and enjoy some entertainment and have fun. I want to make them feel special.”

Marseille said they’ll follow safety guidelines and hopes everyone will be compliant. Masks will be encouraged but not mandated, and they’ll also encourage any distancing guidelines in place once the season starts. 

“Friday After 5 remained committed over this last year to create a memorable experience in 2021,” Marseille said previously. “We cannot wait to share all our plans and celebrate the reopening of Friday After 5 with the families, musicians and community businesses who have long-created traditions together.”

By Ryan Richardson  The Owensboro Times