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City Excited For Live On The Levee Kickoff

Reported: May. 23, 2014 12:06 PM EDT
Updated: May. 23, 2014 1:44 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katelyn Sykes) -- It's the unofficial kickoff to the summer in Charleston. The first Live on the Levee is Friday at Haddad Riverfront Park, and the excitement can be felt all around town.

It's an early morning for Karen Fitzgerald and her husband. The Charleston couple took their boat to Haddad Riverfront Park to get a prime spot for Friday's first Live on the Levee concert.

"It's a whole different experience," Fitzgerald said. "We have driven down and sit up there on the stands and watched before, but on the boat you can just relax more. It's like being at home but still being out here and watching the concert."

The first act to take the stage Friday is Downtown King, a horn-line band out of Huntington, influenced by bands from the 1970s.

For drummer Steve Barker, it's a dream come true.

"We're very excited," Barker said. "We're kind of a new band, and we're getting ready to release a new record and this is actually the starting point for all of that."

In 11 years, Live on the Levee has grown tremendously. It attracts thousands of people to the capital city every Friday throughout the summer, making Charleston a vibrant city and a destination point. But it's impact goes beyond that.

"We put heads in the beds here in the hotels and the motels," said Jim Strawn with Live on the Levee. "We put folks in the restaurants and the bar establishments. It is an economic impact for the city of Charleston.'"

Live on the Levee gets under way at 6:30 p.m. with Downtown King. Thumpdaddy will take the stage at 7:30 p.m., and fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m. The event is free.



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