The live music event known as First Fridays has been going on for more than 20 years, but this year things are a little bit different.
Mother Nature has been easy on the outdoor event in downtown Roanoke so far this year. It's a much different story from 2013 when organizers were forced to cancel a number of shows because of rain and severe weather.
One of the biggest changes people may notice is space at the venue. In years past, people were able to stand or sit in a grassy area, but the construction of a new Hampton Inn in the downtown district does not allow that anymore. Organizers say they lengthened the space on Franklin Avenue to make up for the construction.
Many people are also happy about the new beer selections at First Fridays.
Organizers are now offering more craft beer and they say it’s making all the difference.
"After 26 years we don't want to be the same old same old,” said organizer David Camper. “There is a lot of competition, so we are the oldest event that does nothing, but raise money for charities and in order to do that you have to keep people coming out and enjoying that."
You may also notice First Fridays has a new season schedule.
In years past, shows started in May and ended in September, but this year they began in April and they will end in October.
The event is about halfway through the 2014 summer lineup and the band Too Much Sylvia is from Charlotte, NC for this Friday’s big event.
All the proceeds from the concerts will go to more than 20 local charities.