South Orange began a 16-week event series called “Downtown After Sundown” on April 16.
Every Friday and Saturday evening concert series will be held, weather permitting, downtown from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. until July 31. Area residents are encouraged to listen to live music, enjoy dining and shop.
“It’s generally either folk, jazz or rock music,” sophomore and Vice President of Government Relations for Village, Liaisons Kelsey Coolidge, said. “Also, they’re all local artists so it really helps to expose South Orange’s arts community.”
Downtown After Sundown events are held at two locations per night at Spiotta Park and the corner plaza at Sloan Street and South Orange Avenue by Starbucks and the Village Diner.
Village Liaisons is an organization at Seton Hall dedicated to bridging the divide between the student campus community and residents of South Orange. As the future chair of Village Liaisons, Coolidge stressed the downtown after sundown series can help in accomplishing this goal.
“A great way to bring students and residents together is through the arts. People can find commonality in music and it’s something that everyone; young, old, resident or student can enjoy,” Coolidge said. “Whenever you can bring people together, its sure to help break down negative perceptions of each other.”
The Downtown After Sundown event series has been an initiative of Main Street South Orange, whose focus is to promote local South Orange businesses and bring people downtown.
Main Street South Orange is a non-profit organization working to promote the revitalization of downtown using the model provided by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center. They work with new businesses in an effort to draw people in. The Downtown After Sundown event series helps with this goal by bringing a large number of people downtown.
“I think Downtown After Sundown is a great idea because it keeps kids out of trouble and it gives them something to do at night rather than loiter around businesses, many of which close early anyway,” sophomore and Village Liaisons member, Katie Moore, said.
Moore plans on attending an event with her friends sometime this weekend. She said that it seems like a cheap and affordable activity for students to do.
Coolidge says that she thinks more students should attend.
“Since the weather is so nice in the evening now, it is really enjoyable to sit outside, drinking coffee with friends and listening to actually really good music.”
Seating is limited so attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs.
Alyana Alfaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.