For anyone who has traveled to downtown Waukesha for one of the Friday Night Live events this summer, you may have noticed that something was a little different. Was it as obvious to you as it was to me that Friday Night Live has truly evolved into a huge musical event that draws hundreds (perhaps even 1,000’s) of people every week?
Unfortunately, I’ve had other commitments and couldn’t make it to every one of the 18 scheduled events this summer. Luckily, I have made it on a few occasions over the summer. The first indication that this year’s events were extremely popular was made clear by my struggle to find parking. With more than 1,300 available parking spots in the immediate downtown area, one would think that parking should not be an issue. It was challenging to say the least. Maybe it’s because I’m one of those people who like to park as close as possible to my destination. After many laps around the streets adjacent to downtown, eventually I deferred to pay for a spot in the city parking structure on Wisconsin Avenue which ironically was practically empty. Nevertheless, the small investment to park was well worth the short walk to the crowded, music-filled streets just a couple of blocks away.
Tonight as I approached the downtown crowds, the atmosphere had a sort of nostalgic and bittersweet glow that shown through the smiles of the people I saw. Kind of like when I was a kid and it was the last day of the county fair, it was fun and exciting, but it was growing to the end of another season and next year seemed so far away.
Tonight I talked to a couple of the local downtown business owners and they agreed that 2012 was a great year for Friday Night Live. I also had the honor of shaking hands with Mayor Jeff Scrima, whom I saw all the times I was there. It’s nice to see the Mayor at these and other events.
I also listened to the soothing music of Spring City Grass whom was playing on the stage outside of Cuddles & Martha Merrell’s. It was a beautiful September evening and a graceful conclusion to this year’s Freeman Friday Night Live.
Although there is no “one” person who can claim credit for organizing the event, what many people do not realize is that the Waukesha Downtown Business Association is the “entity” in charge of Friday Night Live, and credit should go to them and all of the individuals who volunteer their hard work to make this happen. If you attended the event you deserve credit as well. Each and every one of the fans and citizens who attend Waukesha Friday Night Live deserve credit because without you there would be no Friday Night Live. Likewise, all the business sponsors of the stages or otherwise deserve recognition.
Thank you all and we look forward to seeing you again in 2013.