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Live From Herndon, It's Friday Night

FNL opens eighth season May 3

Local residents may take “The Plunge” and go “Crawling Home,” after the opening night of the eighth season of Friday Night Live, May 3 in the Town of Herndon on the Town Green.

The outdoor concert series is free and open to the public each Friday night from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. through Aug. 23 except for May 31, as there is no concert in deference to the Herndon Festival.

In addition to the free concerts, this year’s Friday Night Live will feature three food vendors and the Herndon Dairy Queen for the first time, said Friday Night Live volunteer and Herndon resident David Sinclair. In previous years there have been just two food vendors, he said. “So we’ll have dessert this year,” said Sinclair.

This year’s food vendors are Hard Times Café and Dominos Pizza, making return engagements, as well as Euro Bistro, making its debut Friday Night Live appearance, said volunteer and Herndon resident Stacey Sinclair. While the concerts are free, food and beverages — soda and beer — are for purchase. The food vendors pay a sponsorship to the Herndon Dulles Chamber of Commerce, the main producer of Friday Night Live. Any money made by the food vendors goes back to the restaurants.

Although the beer money goes back to the chamber, the majority of the tips go toward the Herndon High School all night graduation party, said David Sinclair.

IN ADDITION to the chamber, members of the Herndon Optimists volunteer as marshals, checking people’s coolers. No alcohol is permitted except for the beer and wine sold. This is a chamber fund-raiser, said Stacey Sinclair, who also reminded people to leave their pets at home.

Angela Wenzel, a 32-year Herndon resident, has volunteered for the past two years checking people’s identification for beer purchases.

“I volunteer because it’s fun and it’s a good way to get out," said Wenzel, a Department of Defense program analyst. "I’ve already told them I want to be upgraded from ID checker to pouring beer. I can pour it without leaving a head."

In addition to local volunteers, for whom there is still a need, the talent is also local. “We have 24 local and regional bands — 11 are first timers this year,” said Doug Downer of HRI Associates and one of the founders of Friday Night Live. “It’s a relaxing evening. Bring a chair and a blanket." Downer expected about 40,000 people to flock to the Town Green throughout the summer.

“Every year we get bigger and bigger,” said Rhonda Layton, events coordinator for the chamber. “We have more sponsors, which is great." She credited Downer for his efforts. “Doug does a lot of work on this event — he was awarded chamber committee of the year,” said Layton.

For more information about Friday Night Live or the scheduled entertainment, check out the website at www.Herndonrocks.com or call 703-481-6133.