The main event — the Model City Music Fest — will provide a free evening of entertainment at Zinn Park from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Nationally known funk band Midnight Star will headline the event beginning at approximately 8 p.m., and Jimmie Walker, best known for his role as J.J. Evans from “Good Times,” will perform a stand-up routine earlier in the day. Larry May, an event organizer, said the event will kick off with a flag ceremony and national anthem with the Anniston High School ROTC, and will include recognition or performance by the winner of Anniston’s Got Talent, who will be named Friday evening.
Just like last year, a D.J. will be playing music between acts, May said, noting that an impromptu dance party sprang up in front of the stage last year when about 400 people starting doing the electric slide.
“When I looked out from the stage, and I saw those people dancing together, and the kids playing on the playground together,” he said, “that was the event personified for me. It was everything I would have wanted and hoped it would be.”
While the concert is underway, Top Notch Events & Rentals plans to set up a kid zone. For a $5 admission, children can be entertained with a bouncy castle, train rides and other activities.
But the music-themed fun begins early in the day, with a record show scheduled for the Anniston City Meeting Center from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
May said vendors from around the region will be set up with more than 30 tables of vinyl albums, t-shirts, buttons, autographs and other memorabilia.
“It’s going to be amazing,” May said. “Anybody that loves Paul Revere and the Raiders all the way to Pantera, we’ve got you covered.”
May said he’s hoping this year’s music fest builds on the success of last year’s, where 2,500 people streamed into Zinn Park to see a Michael Jackson tribute band.
May is hoping to draw as many as 4,000 people this year, and another event is hoping to keep the crowds downtown.
Katy Cairo, a member of local band The Gypsy Begonias, has organized the “Around Downtown After-party” to promote local musicians performing in downtown venues. At the Peerless Saloon, Keitha Williams and Mark Everett will perform from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.
At the Office Lounge, the Jeffrey Bailey Duo begins at 10 p.m., and Brick City Vibe takes the stage at 11 p.m. Both acts will play again at midnight and 1 a.m.
The Crimson Tiger has a four-act lineup for the evening: KBK, Nowhere Squares, Switchblade Kid and Teenage Rehab.
At the Cheaha Brewing Company, bands Doublewide Soul and The Gypsy Begonias will perform on the outdoor patio at 10 p.m and 11 p.m., and singer-songwriters Vance Crook and Krystal Bost will entertain in the dining room at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. with second sets at midnight and 1 a.m.
“This year it’s just a really crazy experiment,” Cairo said. “If it’s successful, then next year we have something to build on.”
“I think it’s a good thing,” May added. “If we’re going to bring that many people to town...There’s no reason to leave downtown all day.”
Staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.