For 36 years, summer Friday evenings in Fort Lauderdale have brought together families in minivans, couples with bottles of wine and old-timers looking for a night of free music outside.
Neighbors and friends have spread out their blankets, opening bags of chips, bottles of drinks and boxes of carryout chicken. And Friday, the 37th annual Starlight Musicals will open at Holiday Park. Jimmy Stowe and the Stowaways will perform the first of eight free concerts taking place through Aug. 7. The band plays Jimmy Buffett tunes and what they call "tropical rock."
The shows run from 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays on the football field at Holiday Park, which is located at East Sunrise Boulevard and Federal Highway.
Attendees can bring lawn chairs, picnic baskets and coolers, but pets are not permitted in the park. There also is a no-smoking zone and a tent-free zone for those wanting a clear view of the stage. Canopies, tents and umbrellas are permitted only along the back and sides of the field.
Bank of America, the series' perennial sponsor, will feature a nonprofit group every week, and patrons are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to benefit the Pantry of Broward and Life Net 4 Families. Pet food donations benefit Abandoned Pet Rescue.
In addition to Jimmy Stowe and the Stowaways, the schedule also includes Andrew Morris Band (June 26; country); Valerie Tyson Band (July 3; Motown and R&B); Pocket Change (July 10; funk/dance); Viva Rock Band (July 17; classic rock); Mr. Nice Guy (July 24; classic rock); Chain Reaction (July 31; Journey tribute band); and Brass Evolution (Aug. 7; classic rock).
Call 954-828-5363 or go to FortLauderdale.gov/Starlight.