Before the big party of AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival comes, there will be a smaller celebration of all that is to come.
For the first time, a music festival pre-party will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Heritage Discovery Center courtyard, 201 Sixth Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
Organizers are planning on an outside party, but if it rains, festivities will move inside.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to do this before,” said Shelley Johansson, director of marketing and communications for Johnstown Area Heritage Association, which produces the festival. “This is a time to look forward to the festival. The idea is to have fun and allow people the opportunity to get excited it’s coming.”
A special concert by past festival artists Jeff Perigo and South Side Strays will prime the pump for the music festival, which will be held Aug. 2-4.
Perigo, who appeared at the 2011 festival, has been playing live music since 1994 in the Johnstown, Indiana and Somerset areas.
He plays acoustic or electric, classic rock, folk, blues, country and jam band and prefers writing blues-based rock songs and rearranging cover songs while adding his own unique twist.
Southside Strays grew out of another Johnstown band, ERA, and was created to have a free-flowing swirl of guest musicians around a solid core.
The group mixes the right ingredients of the Grateful Dead, The Beatles and The Byrds with a bit of the blues and some country.
The band’s new CD is “Out All Night.”
Those who attend the pre-party will have the opportunity to purchase hot-off-the-presses 2013 festival T-shirts, which usually aren’t available until the festival itself, at a special discount.
Discounts also will be available on Friday night (Aug.2) single-day tickets, which are normally $22.75 with handling fees.
All single-day tickets will be available after July 1.
“If you don’t have a three-day pass yet, this is a good time to come do it in person,” Johansson said. “The early-bird pricing on them expires on July 1.”
There will be no cover charge, but the bar and Galliker’s Cafe will be open for purchases.
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