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Downtown at Sundown in DeRidder is returning. (Photo courtesy of Beauregard Daily News)

Downtown at Sundown in DeRidder is returning. (Photo courtesy of Beauregard Daily News)

Reign in spring with 'Downtown at Sundown' in DeRidder

Last Modified: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 1:30 PM

By Lauren Manary / American Press

When the sun sets, the fun is just beginning in DeRidder.

Reign in springtime with nights of free fun, music and food at “Downtown at Sundown,” a concert series in the heart of the city. The event is open to the public and will be held on three consecutive Thursdays, beginning this week on March 27 at the Amerisafe Pavilion. A different live band will play each Thursday, and various family-friendly games and activities will be available.

Local staples Grabow Riot and Beauregard’s Courtesy will play March 27 and April 3, respectively. Downtown at Sundown newcomers Young Band Nation will finish up the series, playing a set on April 10.

City of DeRidder Project Coordinator Ashley Rush said the events are intended to give back to the citizens of the city and parish.

“We’re really focused on getting our community out and coming and enjoying downtown before dinner,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s always nice to have something fun to do to get the kids out.”

This Thursday, snag a free hamburger and a chair in the pavilion while concert veterans Grabow Riot plays a mix of country rock and gospel tunes. Grabow Riot bassist Mike Luttrell said the event is a family affair.

“My uncle (Beauregard’s Courtesy member Wilfred Luttrell) and my dad (Grabow Riot’s rhythm guitarist John Luttrell) really like this, so we do it for them and for the community,” he said.  “It’s a good community thing.”

The Dragon’s Den Relay for Life will sponsor the first Thursday, and will sell cotton candy to help raise funds. They will also have carnival games like bean bag and ring toss for kids to enjoy.

Next up will be Beauregard’s Courtesy. Enjoy a free hotdog and listen to the aptly-named local band’s swing-style version of classic rock tunes. The seven-piece band includes DeRidder mayor Ron Roberts , a trumpet play. He said the audience can expect at least one tune – Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman,” which they always play to finish their set.

Kids are also invited to dress like their favorite profession or what they would like to be when they grow up on April 3. Games will be provided by the city. Local businesses will be handing out information at their booths around the pavilion.

The series will wrap up with a set from Young Band Nation, a group of youth musicians who study at the Southwestern Louisiana Music Studios in Lake Charles. Free nachos will be available, along with games for children provided by June Jenkins Women’s Shelter.

The shows are held March 27, April 3 and April 10 from 5:30-7 p.m. Food is free and drinks are available for purchase for $1.

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