ALBANY: Alive at Five keeps Thursday evenings humming

Alive at Five kicked off its 10-week summer concert series last week, once again drawing thousands of those looking to get an early start to the weekend to Albany's happening riverfront scene.

A notably more mature crowd was in attendance for 60's and 70's headliner band Felix Cavalier's Rascals, who are known for their hits Good Lovin', "Girl Like You," "Groovin'," "You Better Run," and "A Beautiful Morning."

This Thursday, June 14, American Idol winner Ruben Studdard is expected to draw a huge crowd of young and old alike, and on Thursday, June 21, 1970's hit-makers ASIA, who recently reunited, will take the stage with all of its original members.

Robert Johnson, a big fan of the Rascals who says he'll be back for Ruben Studdard, believes Alive At Five is the best event Albany has to offer.

"It's free, the timing of the year is right where the weather is conducive most of the time, and the people are beginning to behave themselves and come and just appreciate the music," he said.

Alive at Five was created by the City of Albany Office of Special Events and Volunteer Services, which also puts on the Tulip Festival, Albany Jazz Festival, Albany Winterfest, and The Father's Day Pop's Concert.

It has come a long way since 1990, first taking place on South Pearl Street every Friday night and attracting a crowd of a couple hundred. Yet, coordinators at Albany's special events office saw bigger and better things for the event, and it was eventually relocated to the newly renovated riverfront.

Soon, thousands began making their way over the Corning Preserve Bridge to enjoy free music from local bands and internationally established artists, food from Albany's favorite local vendors, beer, and fresh squeezed lemonade.

Now in its 18th season, and a winner of the 2000 Hospitality Excellence Award, the event has evolved into more than just a fun thing to after work.

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