Fridays!: Free again, fun always

Fridays after 5 is a staple of Charlottesville life. It's grown from year to year and many charities that benefit from its proceeds hope it will continue forever. While it stumbled a little last year, with the $3-$5 admission charge and many rained-out nights, this looks like a year of redemption.

Two early-season rain-outs raised fears about the event's viability, but by the end of June, organizers announced that they felt confident that the new amphitheater on this site run by developer/band manager Coran Capshaw would welcome it back.

Meanwhile, the sun has shone on much of this year's schedule including popular local groups such as King Wilkie, Corey Harris & The 5x5, Terri Allard, Big Ray & The Kool Kats, and Monticello Road– who played Friday, August 27.

One of the younger local bands, Monticello Road has come a long way from its standard frat-rock cover band beginnings. The musicians blend pop rock acoustic fun with the confidence and coordination of a group seasoned by touring.

At the east end of the Mall on Friday, the boys commanded the audience's attention without being overbearing or annoying. (The spectacular weather didn't hurt!)

Despite bigger crowds, heavier traffic, and scarcer and scarcer parking, Fridays gives every indication of continuing to be a cornerstone of the downtown scene for the foreseeable future. There are still a few Fridays left to get in on the action.

See you there!

Dance machines!

You have to get by Jennifer Foronjy if you want to drink beer.

Fridays in all its glory

Fridays nestles in our little 'ville like a baby in his mama's arm.

Kyle Rannigan rocks! Charlottesville approves!

Monticello Road spans the arc of the downtown amphitheater.