Class is out and most students have returned home, but Downtown Elon is looking to keep the streets "alive" this summer.
For the third time, Downtown Elon merchants are partnering with Elon Parks and Recreation to put on Alive After 5, a summer concert series.
Quinn Ray, the General Manager of The Root says the goal of the event is to attract the community members and students still on campus to downtown and keep the area thriving while the university isn't in session. "We are in a college town so it is a little slower for all the merchants and the whole community so it's a good time to come in and try to experience what Elon has to offer," he says.
It's also the Oak House's first summer at Elon, and owner Phil Smith sees the concert series as a way to spread the word out about his business to the local community. "A lot of our townspeople I think didn't know what the Oak House is for instance," he said. "They might think that it's just a restaurant and or just a bar or just a coffee shop. [They] could maybe come in and just see what we offer."
For those in the community, such as Gibsonville resident Phil Miller, the concert series gives them a reason to come out to Elon. "It's an easy way to come in after work and hang out," he said.
Smith also hopes the event will keep the community invested in downtown Elon this summer. "I just would love to see more of the university community out to maybe begin to meet folks from the community," he says.
Thursday June 18th was the first concert of the season but there are two more scheduled for the third Thursdays of the next two months. The last concert is planned for August 20th but Downtown Elon merchants say they might plan one more concert for September, after students return for fall semester.