Fun, music on tap Friday in downtown LaGrange

LaGRANGE — A family friendly, patriotic celebration and festival is slated for Friday in downtown LaGrange.

The Red White and Blue Friday block party is set to kick off at 7 p.m. on Lafayette Square and will feature music, a cake and ice cream eating contest, picnic table decorating contest and the feature film “Seabiscuit.”

The event, organized by the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority, is free and open to the public.

The LaGrange Community Orchestra, directed by Neal Brumbeloe, will headline the event and perform American music ranging from patriotic marches to Broadway tunes.

“The music we play is either patriotic, like John Philip Sousa marches, or pieces of Americana,” Brumbeloe said. “One piece we’ll play is a medley of American folk music.”

The all-volunteer orchestra features roughly 50 musicians ranging in age from middle school to retirees, Brumbeloe said. They’ve been rehearsing once a week for four weeks leading up to the annual downtown concert.

“It’s pretty intense because a lot of us have never played together,” he said. “It’s really a good program. Our age range is about 65 years, from our oldest to youngest players.”

Brumbeloe said no matter what the weather turns out to be, his orchestra’s show must go on. In the event of rain, the concert will be held at First Baptist Church on the Square, 207 W. Haralson St.

The orchestra concert’s hour-long concert isn’t the only thing on tap to entertain families and attendees, though.

Following the concert, cupcake and ice cream eating contests sponsored by Cakes by Debbie, 5 E. Lafayette Square, will be held on the east side of Lafayette Square.

Additionally, for the fourth year in a row, the DLDA will host a best-decorated picnic table contest, and the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority is encouraging participants to decorate with a patriotic theme.

For those planning ahead, a round table with eight chairs can be reserved in advance by calling the DLDA’s Barbie Watts at 706-298-4534.

The 2003 feature film “Seabiscuit” is scheduled to be shown at dusk. The film, starring Tobey McGuire, Jeff Bridges and Elizabeth Banks is based on the true story of a Depression-era racehorse whose victory lifted the spirits of not only the team behind it, but also the nation.

Adirondack chairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact the DLDA at 706-298-4534 or visit the Downtown LaGrange Facebook page or

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