Several thousand music fans are expected to descend upon downtown Plymouth on Friday night for the kickoff of , the city's weekly free concert series.
Motor City Soul, a Motown-flavored group, will perform at at 7 p.m. Friday. The site will have concerts each Friday—with the exception of July 8—through Sept. 2.
The series, which has become a downtown staple, will usher in an extended weekend for Plymouth residents.
"I think people get excited about the first concert of the year," said Tony Bruscato, director of operations for Plymouth's Downtown Development Authority. "It's kind of the kickoff to the Memorial Day weekend and hopefully a kickoff to some nice weather; people look forward to having a three-day weekend."
He said he also expects the event, which usually draws between 3,000 to 5,000 people, to boost business downtown.
"It's not unusual to see people carrying pizza and sandwiches from other restaurants in the area," he said, noting that there are two concession stands on the premises, as well.
He said the city is accustomed to handling the large crowds.
"Our staff is really used to this," he said. "This is not unusual. This concert series has been going on a long time. Crowds like this have been coming here for a long time."
Sam Walton, an executive producer at Signature Professional Group, has helped organize the event for the past 16 years and called the yearly series "a labor of love."
"It's a relatively time-consuming process," he said. "Most people assume these kinds of things happen on their own. It takes a lot of moving parts to make sure it comes together."
He said most of the event's planning comes the year before the concerts take place, and setting a budget with the city's DDA and securing sponsors is the primary challenge.
"We're already starting to consider a plan for the 2012 season based on a logistics and budgeting standpoint."
A Plymouth native, Walton said the city provides an ideal venue for the music.
"It couldn't happen in a more beautiful community," he said. "Kellogg Park is just perfect."
He said one benefit of the concert is that it isn't putting a strain on the city's budget.
"Almost the entire cost is underwritten by private sponsorship," he said.
Parking for the event also is free.