“Free Fridays” Concert Series Presents the All-American Payne’s Prairie Home Companion Friday, July 4


The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will celebrate America’s birthday at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza with a reprise of its annual All-American Song Fest Friday, July 4.

Like last year’s celebration, this year’s All-American Song Fest will feature an All-American Payne’s Prairie Home Companion. The show is modeled after National Public Radio’s popular radio show, a Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. The Gainesville version takes a local approach with bits like The News From Lake Wauburgon (a play on Lake Wauburg) which replaces Lake Wobegon in Keillor’s version and commercials for popular Gainesville establishments that no longer exist such as Mama Lo’s and Lipham’s Music.

Last year’s performance at the Plaza was rained out partway through the show, but was restaged at the Thomas Center in September. Ron Thomas, the organizer and host, says that many of the same performers will be back, including Gregg Jones, Cathy DeWitt, Rob Rothschild and Mike Boulware. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Wauburgoners, featuring Don David and Jon Alexander, and comedy routines and skits will be performed by the Payne’s Players. In keeping with the All-American Song Fest tradition, small American flags will be passed out to attendees at the event.

The 2014 “Free Fridays” concert series is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The concerts will play each Friday night this year from Friday, May 2 through Friday, Oct. 24 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza, which is located at 111 E. University Ave. To view the complete “Free Fridays” 2014 schedule, please visit the Cultural Affairs Division website at