The first of four Music in the Park concerts was blessed with great weather, great attendance and great music on Tuesday night in Van Alstyne.
The concert series, produced by the Van Alstyne Chamber of Commerce, is being held the third Tuesday of each month through August at the Interurban Park’s Rail Car stage. The first concert of the season featured Hometown Talent, in song-swap mode, with Ray White and Matt Nix performing first, followed by Tyler Rogers and Larry Martin.
Newly elected Mayor Steve Riley surprised Nix with a “Van Alstyne Citizen for a Day.” Though Nix is actually from Anna, he felt right at home in Van Alstyne after playing at Fall der All and the Christmas Tree Lighting during the past year.
Music lasted from 6:30-8 p.m., as it will at every concert.
The Rail Car Farmers Market goes on every Tuesday at that same location, usually from 4-7 p.m., though for this event the vendors all stayed open the extra hour while the music played on. Several vendors said the combination of the two events helped boost their sales.
The weather threatened a retreat earlier in the afternoon. First, a major wind burst through the area. Vendors held tight to their canopies and were successful in keeping everything intact. With that threat out of the way, it was about 30 minutes later that rain sprinkled the area. That, too, dried up within about 20 minutes. The concert did not have to move, after all; instead, temperatures were perfect, as clouds still overhead kept the sun from blistering everybody, and there was enough breeze to complete the realistically-stereotyped Van Alstyne Chamber of Commerce day.
Meanwhile, Jafar, from Jafar’s Mediterranean Grill located half a block down the street, was ready to welcome the crowd inside his restaurant, should rain make that a necessity. No concert will be cancelled because of rain, promoters said, but future ones will go into Jafar’s if the need arises.
While adults perused the farmers market vendors while listening to music, children played continually. They engaged in chase, with the free fans that sponsor Texas Star Bank provided being turned into frisbees, while others rode bicycles and scooters they brought with them. An unusual sight for 2018 — there wasn’t an electronic gadget seen in any child’s hand for those few hours.
Chamber President Brenda McDonald told the crowd that at the next concert, the chamber expects to provide even more for the children to do, and will also provide grilled hot dogs for everyone, at least until they run out. William Pacheco, owner of El Patio Escondido, stepped up and said he will sponsor the hot dog distribution.
The next concert will be June 19. Featured is the up-and-coming Tanner Sparks Band from Eustace, Texas. Music in the Park concerts are all free to the public.