Summer is just around the corner and nothing heralds the warm and lazy days like a nice outdoor evening concert.
Doug Montgomery, owner of TexStar Ford, is excited to play host in conjunction with the city of Stephenville and Stephenville Parks and Recreations to no fewer than five shows this year. Montgomery estimated this to be the event's 13th year.
"I can't believe it has been that many years," he said.
Montgomery recalled a walk through the park with local music legend Larry Joe Taylor while the Birdsong Amphitheater was being constructed. It proved to be the catalyst to starting the free admission series.
"Larry Joe came by when they were building it and said we ought to put a summer show on," he said. "He helps me every year and mc's for it."
The event draws quite a crowd and Montgomery described the concerts as family-friendly. Director of Community Services Drew Wells echoed Mongomery's sentiments when he explained the complexion of those in attendance.
"It's just a unique event, and the crowds that show up are a cross section of the community," he said. "We see college students, families with young kids and retired folks. It's a mix that seems to work. There are no conflicts or issues. Everyone sits back and relaxes and enjoys the night."
Montgomery said fans come from all over Texas.
"We started out thinking about Stephenville and the surrounding areas," he said. "Now we have people come from all over. We were one of the first to do a free concert series, but now other communities are putting on shows."
The fun will kick off June 6 with a performance by Jerry Jeff Walker. Other performers will follow on a biweekly basis every other Thursday, including Asleep at the Wheel, Larry Joe Taylor and Gary P. Nunn.
Montgomery reflected on that day more than a dozen years ago when he and Taylor dreamed up the idea for the free live music celebration.
"We were just trying to come up with an idea for something cool that everyone could enjoy," he said. "We wanted something that is no hassle, doesn't cost money to see and all anyone needs to do is bring a lawn chair or blanket and show up."