MARION, Va. - "There's nothing to do around here." It's a refrain heard not only locally, but in every community in America at one time or another. And Marion is working to change that.
Last year, the Town of Marion partnered with Marion Downtown and the newly-formed Smyth County Young Professionals for Progress group to bring live music to the Marion Farmers Market as part of the town's ArtWalk.
Last year, the inaugural shows brought hundreds of people to the Market Pavilion for live music that usually isn't showcased in more traditional venues in town.
Reggae, beach music, "young gun country" and bluesy rock filled the downtown. This year, the partnership is bringing five new bands to the Market Stage, each with their own blend of tunes.
"We continually look for ways to bring excitement to our community," said Ken Heath, Director of Community and Economic Development for the Town of Marion.
"We listen to the citizens, who talk to us at events, at the grocery store, on our Facebook page, and work to bring things that will bring people into our downtown to have a good time and see what all we have to offer right here at home."
The Marion Summer Concert Series is set for the second Friday night of each month at the Marion Farmers Market with concerts beginning at 8pm.
"This is part of our monthly downtown celebration, the ArtWalk, sponsored and organized by the Appalachian Spirit Gallery," said Heath. "The Gallery hosts artists and features live music on their porch next to Town Hall from 5 until 8, and participating businesses up and down Main Street do the same. Then at 8, we crank up the music at the Market."
The Smyth County Young Professionals for Progress group offers food and beverage concessions at the concert.
The concerts are free and open to the public.
Photo ID is required to purchase alcohol.
This year's Marion Summer Concert Series includes:
June 14th: Wise Old River – Eclectic Americana
July 12th: Southern Grove- Southern Rock
August 9th: Glen Body and the Bluez Cruizers – Blues and Motown
September 13th: Mercy Creek – Aggressive Folk Rock
October 11th: Badunkafunk – Funk/Soul/Groove/Jam