As Denison’s Music on Main looks to bring its summer concert season to a close this week, officials with the city plan to build off the success of 2015 while planning for next year’s concert series.

As Denison’s Music on Main looks to bring its summer concert season to a close this week, officials with the city plan to build off the success of 2015 while planning for next year’s concert series.


On Friday night, Brothers Osborne played the penultimate show of the season in Heritage Park, with Deryl Dodd scheduled to close the series on July 31. Main Street Director Donna Dow said the final two concerts may bring out the largest crowds, even beyond the overwhelming turn out from earlier acts.


"We have more than doubled our attendance from years past, however, I think they could be two of our most heavily attended," Dow said.


While in previous years, between 400 and 500 people would attend a typical concert each Friday night, Dow said crowds this season have ranged anywhere from 800 to 1,500. This increase in attendance comes in spite of poor weather earlier this season.


"I think we could have gone even higher if rain was not a factor," Dow said.


Dow said the crowds attending the concerts in 2015 have been different than in previous years. While previously locals would make up the majority of those in attendance, this year’s artists have brought crowds from outside Texoma. On Friday, Dow was receiving calls from fans of Brothers Osborne from as far away as The Colony and Oklahoma City.


For some local businesses, this increase in traffic in downtown has translated to increased hours and sales on Friday. Jay Connelly, owner of the Main Street Mall, said he has extended his hours on Friday nights to attract visitors preparing for the concert. On on average Friday, Connelly said, he will get another 10 customers in the extra hour on Friday.


"It is not a huge deal, but it’s customers," Connelly said.


While it has had limited impact on his sales, Connelly said, the concert series is still a major asset for the entire community. "With the entertainers coming in, it’s something you just can’t get unless you go to the Metroplex," he said.


Terry Percell-Rhoads, a resident of Denison, said she has attended the concerts for several years. She said events like Music on Main help bring vitality back to areas like downtown.


"I love what they are doing for our town," she said. "My greatest wish is that downtown Denison would be like it was when we moved here in 1976."


While she enjoyed the lineup from previous years, Percell-Rhoads said she was excited about this year’s lineup.


"Somebody’s Darling was off the hook," she said. "The band and the singer were awesome."


Dow said an increased budget for 2015 allowed organizers to bring it more well-known artists than previous years. In December, the program received a $25,000 matching grant from the Levitt Foundation. While, in previous years, the concert series had a total budget of about $15,000 to $20,000, Dow said organizers were able to raise nearly $50,000 through grants and other donations.


On Monday, the Denison City Council gave authorization for Main Street to submit grant applications for funding for next year’s concert series with Levitt and other foundations. While this is just the first year for the partnership with the city and Levitt, Dow said she is confident that the city will receive the grant again in the future.