'American Idol' finalist will headline First Friday

Monday, July 29, 2013

Katelyn Marks, a former "American Idol" contestant and a rising country music artist, will be the headline performer at this week's First Friday on the Lawn.

Other entertainment and family activities are planned for the monthly event, which will be held Aug. 2, 6-9 p.m., 249 Nash St. W. The public is invited.

Katelyn Marks was a finalist for American Idol in 2008 and has opened for Little Big Town, Steel Magnolia, Jason Jones and more. Her original music is all her own, but favors country greats such as Faith Hill, Leann Rimes, Carrie Underwood and Shania Twain. After performing at the 2007 GMA Music in the Rockies she attracted the attention of Academy of Country Music award-winner producer Lonnie Wilson. Katelyn now fronts a high-energy band that performs at fairs, festivals, nightclubs, music series, corporate events, and colleges and universities.

By her side is Derek Drye who is a versatile musician playing lead guitar, dobro, mandolin, harmonica, as well as sharing lead and back-up vocals. Her five-piece band performs her original tunes and covers hits from artists ranging from Johnny Cash to Miranda Lambert. Their performances cultivate audience participation and connect personally with those attending the concert.

The City of Wilson’s annual First Fridays on the Lawn free community concert series are held on the first Friday from July-October with a different style of music each night. The concert events bring live music from 6-9 p.m., a free kids zone, family activities, intermission performance acts, local food vendors and community booths.

The Human Relations Commission sponsors the concert series as a way to celebrate diversity through music. The Commission also sponsors the annual Humanitarian Banquet and supports a variety of community programs that reach out to citizens of Wilson.

First Fridays on the Lawn is a family-friendly event. Admission is free. All concerts are alcohol free. Pets are preferred to be left at home, but if brought must obey the leash law. Families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, a blanket and even a picnic from home.

In case of rain, the concerts will be moved downtown to the Boykin Center. The schedule will remain the same with the doors opening at 5 p.m. and the music starting at 6 p.m.

For more information check out the First Fridays on the Lawn web page on the City of Wilson’s website (, key word search “1st Fridays” or contact the Human Relations Office by calling 399-2308.