By: Holly Hollman

Athens Arts League is expanding the Fourth of July holiday celebration into the weekend by hosting a free community street party.

The Scout House Street Party with music and food trucks will be Saturday, July 6, from 5-9 p.m. on East Street beside Scout Music House.

Plato Jones, a Tuscaloosa cover band comprised of Athens musicians, will be the headliner. The band debuted in 2005 to serve “the world one ear at a time.” The original band members started playing music at Athens High School and formed the band while at the University of Alabama. Current members are Tyler Crawford, William Stephenson and Ian Greenhaw. The band has performed throughout the South, playing rock, funk and blues.

Opening for Plato Jones will be local musicians:
  • Astro Diggins – Psychedelic rock/R&B soul/ blues-rock
  • Elate Euphoria - Psychedelic rock/alternative
  • DCrook – Christian rap

The party kicks off Athens Arts League’s Alabama Music Series, sponsored in part by the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area and current and former members of the Limestone County Legislative Delegation. The purpose of the series is to promote Alabama-based musicians and provide cultural events for citizens of Athens and Limestone County.

Athens Arts League President Jennifer Hilton Sampieri said the Fourth of July holiday weekend offers an opportunity to kick off the series in a party-type atmosphere and allow the League to share information about its cultural and educational programs. Athens Arts League operates High Cotton Arts, a non-profit art incubator in Downtown Athens with artist studios, art classes and cultural events. In addition, the League is renovating the 1938-era Scout House into Scout Music House to host house concerts and provide hands-on training for students interested in marketing, performing, event planning, recording, stage set up and other areas of the music industry. The League recently replaced the rotten roof thanks to funds raised from Anderson East’s benefit concert in November. The League currently is obtaining plumbing estimates for a handicap accessible bathroom and the addition of a second bathroom.

“While Scout Music House is being renovated, we have worked with students to provide them opportunities to learn about stage setup, merchandise sales, photography and marketing at two concerts performed by Grammy-nominated musicians, Anderson East and Secret Sisters,” said Athens Arts League board member and Scout Music House Committee Chair Holly Hollman. “These students were thrilled to be included in the process for our concerts, and we want to expand those opportunities with Scout Music House.”

The students worked with two Athens Arts League board members, Jim McDole and Mike Johnson, who perform locally and have sound and light equipment. McDole and Johnson allowed students to learn from them and assist them in setting up their equipment on the stage at Athens State University’s McCandless Hall for the Anderson East and Secret Sisters concerts.

“In addition to giving students hands-on experience off stage, we want to give students the opportunity to perform on stage. Saturday’s concert will give local high school and college musicians the chance to play in our community as opening acts for Plato Jones,” Hollman said.

Spectators can bring chairs to enjoy the street party. Bathrooms are available at the adjacent Big Spring Memorial Park pavilion, and parking will be available at the park and at Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful/Gulf Station on East Street. For the event, organizers are closing East Street between Washington and East Market Street.

The food trucks that will be at the event are The Spud Truck, Baldemar Tacos and Shaved Ice. Spectators will need to bring money to purchase food from the food trucks. There is no charge to attend the concert.
By: Holly Hollman
City of Athens Communications Specialist

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