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‘Fridays After Five’ all summer at Elks

Ready for some live music?

This summer three organizations have united to sponsor “Fridays After Five,” an event that will feature live music every Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day at the Creston Elks Lodge. Opening night is May 31 with guitarist James Biehn performing.

“As with most projects, this event started as a discussion and has evolved into something great thanks in large part to the enthusiasm and support from the other sponsors,” said Mindy Stalker with Union County Development Association. “Our goal at UCDA is community development. I can’t think of anything better to connect a community than live music.”

UCDA has partnered with First National Bank in Creston and Afton along with the Creston Elks Lodge for these events. Music will begin shortly after 5 p.m. each Friday on the east side of the Elks and will wind down around 7 p.m.

Admission is $5 each Friday. But, the first 100 attendees (21 and over) will receive a free drink token.

“We’ll have staff outside selling cold drinks,” said Ron Higgins, loyal knight at the Creston Elks Lodge. “Come up after work, bring your friends, unwind from the week and kickoff your weekend the right way.”

Stalker has lined up 14 different organizations to volunteer on Fridays to sell tickets at the gate and ID and wristband attendees. Essentially, volunteers will work with staff at the Elks to make sure the event runs smoothly. In return, the volunteer organization will receive all ticket sale proceeds for the night they’re working. The organization will use the funds either for their mission or donate the proceeds to another community project.

“That’s the added benefit to Fridays After Five,” said Randy Huewe, president of First National Bank. “Yeah, the live music will draw people uptown. But, some of the local community projects that are fundraising right now like McKinley Park Aquatic Center (MPAC), Gibson Memorial Library, Creston Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) and Crestubilee (After Prom) can gain a little extra cash for their project along with some exposure.”

Higgins, who said the Elks will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs on opening night, helped recruit several of the musicians for Fridays After Five with fellow Elks knight Willie Harris. The artist lineup includes Crestonian Dustin Baird and the band Fat Moses, which includes Dino and Alexi Groumoutis. Fridays at Five will also feature artists from Corning, Atlantic, Clarinda, Maryville and Des Moines.

Fridays After Five is open to the public.

“You don’t have to be an Elks member to attend,” Higgins said. “But, it does give people a chance to see what the Elks is all about. We couldn’t be more excited to host these.”

Stalker and Higgins said the food offering the first night will be an exception. They suggest attendees visit other local establishments or restaurants once the event concludes around 7 p.m.

“We want the entire community to benefit from this exciting addition to our summer,” Stalker said.

Keep up with all the Fridays After Five discussion under the events section on the Union County Development Association Facebook page. For questions, contact Stalker at the UCDA office, Higgins or Harris at the Elks Lodge or Kyle Wilson at First National Bank.

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