The town of Franklin’s annual concert series held Saturdays in the Summer will feature a reduced line up this year as the event, which is offered free to the public, will be held bi-weekly instead of every week and will be held at an earlier time.
“The schedule is changing to a bi-weekly Pickin’ on the Square beginning on May 14 through October 15 with music beginning one hour earlier at 6:00 p.m,” said Franklin Town Manager Aime Owens. “The Town has received requests for other events to take place at the Gazebo during the summer and had to decline due to it always being scheduled for Pickin’. This change will allow for additional offerings to be held downtown at varying hours which would have overlapped with Pickin’.”
According to Owens, the board’s decision to scale back Pickin’ was also made due to the cost associated with hosting the concert series, which is organized annual by Donnie Clay.
“We are still utilizing Donnie Clay to coordinate the performances and provide the sound system and have a contract for him to do so,” said Owens. “We (the Town) have received feedback that the event was not as well attended as it has been in the past and citizens, visitors and merchants wanted a change. Rather than eliminate this offering, we chose to scale it back to hopefully assist in regaining its popularity and interest once again. The cost of the event was $32,000 in 2021. When looking at that expense for approximately 100 hours of time, and looking at employees who work 2,080 hours in a year and don’t make near that amount; fiscally, it was a consideration.”
For nearly three decades the Town of Franklin, NC has hosted this free event at the Gazebo on the Square in Downtown Franklin from May through mid-October. This year’s Pickin’ on the Square will be held every other Saturday from May 14 to October 15 at the Gazebo on the Square in Downtown Franklin. From bluegrass to country and oldies to gospel, the public is invited to bring a lawn chair to enjoy an evening of family entertainment during Pickin’ on the Square.
“The Town is still keeping Pickin’ as a free family-friendly activity, but providing opportunities for other activities as well,” said Owens. “The difficulty is to balance the familiar with the potential of the new. There will be some who are not happy with this decision and some who will be. The hope is that we are able to have successful events in Franklin, and still keep some of the traditions.”
While the 2022 Pickin’ on the Square line up has not been announced, the calendar has the first show kicking off on May 15 with 12 Saturdays booked through October 15 for the event.
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