By M. Clare Haefner
Killeen Daily Herald
School's out and the city of Killeen is ready to provide some family-friendly entertainment with the return of its Hot Summer Nights Outdoor Concert and the Movies in the Park series.
It all kicks off tonight with a show at 8 by Lance Wade Thomas, a country crooner from Holland.
Thomas has been touring Central Texas with songs from his album "Songs from a Small Town," which was released in 2007. Local country fans will probably recognize "Jim Beam and Mary Jane" and "Forever Wasn't Long Enough," and they'll also hear new songs off his soon-to-be-released second album, "Country Like Us."
The city has been offering a concert series for about 10 years, said Megian Douglass, Killeen's recreation superintendent.
But last summer, the city started offering movies as well, thanks to Time Warner Cable, which sponsors the movies.
"Time Warner Cable has been a big help, allowing us to alternate between concerts and movies," Douglass said.
The city will alternate Fridays in June and July with free concerts or movies at the amphitheater at the Killeen Community Center on Veterans Memorial Boulevard.
The events draw a crowd anywhere from 150 to 300 people, Douglass said. People should arrive early and bring blankets or lawn chairs to sit on.
Concerts begin at 8 p.m. and last about two hours. If it rains, the concerts will move indoors to the community center.
Movies will start between 8:15 and 8:30 p.m. If it rains on a movie night, the event will be canceled because the inflatable screen is too big to use indoors, Douglass said.
Movies and concerts are free to the public, but Douglass said food and drinks will be for sale from vendors each week.
"We'll have hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken wraps and kettle corn," she said, listing a few of the items for sale. People can also bring their own food or drinks, although alcoholic beverages of any kind are not allowed.
"We try to keep it family oriented," Douglass said.
Contact Clare Haefner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7551.