“I think it is great for families and a great way for families to relax on a Friday night.”
--Volunteer Mary Burger
Friday, May 2, the Town Green was full of families and visitors who came to attend the first Friday Night Live concert in the Town of Herndon. “It was a packed house, everybody is out having a good time,” said Herndon Police Officer Henry “Hank” Ruffin. This popular concert series is held every Friday evening until Aug. 22.
The band which begun this season was Love Seed Mama Jump. The concerts begin around 6:30 p.m. and end around 10:30 p.m. The Friday Night Live concert series is free to attend and is almost always held unless rain forces them to cancel. “I think it is an awesome event, I wish more towns had event like this,” said guitarist Kevin Lipski, a band member of Love Seed Mama Jump. “It is always great to play here, the crowd is so very receptive and there is a great family vibe, the people are great,” said David James, a percussionist with the band.
Friday Night Live (FNL!) is one the most popular outdoor concert series in the D.C. area. The concert has been ranked as a "Must See" for Fairfax County, and is recognized by the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Doug Downer, founder of the event attributes much of the success to volunteers. “We have a couple of new bands playing this year,” said Downer. On Friday, June 20, FNL! will be holding their 20th anniversary celebration.
Over 230,000 fans have attended FNL! concerts, and each year FNL! donates money from tips to Herndon High School's After Prom and All Night Grad Parties. “It is wonderful to see so many people here at Friday Night Live,” said restaurant owner Jimmy Cirrito. Cirrito has a food stand for his restaurant Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern at the FNL! concerts. Sponsors for FNL! include Volkswagen, the Herndon Chamber of Commerce, and the Worldgate Center. “Friday Night Live is one of the best outside entertainments you will see in the northern Virginia area,” said Town of Herndon councilmember David Kirby.
A resident of Herndon, Mary Burger has been volunteering with this event for 19 years. “I think it is great for families and a great way for families to relax on a Friday night,” said Burger. While bands perform on stage, attendees and audience can dine on food they bring to the event or purchase meals at the vending booths. Beer and beverages are sold on the site until 9:30 pm. No alcoholic beverages may be brought into the event, and no pets are allowed.
“Friday Night Live is exactly the sort of thing we want in downtown Herndon,” said Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel. “It is family friendly and supports the community.” For more information about Friday Night Live or the scheduled entertainment, check out Herndonrocks.com.