It's sure to be a lively time when Main Street Murfreesboro hosts its annual Summer Party, also known as the Taste of Rutherford, on Saturday, July 28, at the historic Lively House at 746 E. Main St. The popular fundraising event promises an evening of food and drink, music and laughter from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the grand home of host Jonathan Harmon, who just purchased the residence in May.
Corporate sponsors and patrons of the event may arrive at 6 p.m. for an early look.
This year's party takes on a jazz theme, with some members of the local jazz combo Cosmic Collective providing the musical entertainment. Band leader and vocalist Nikki Michelle attributes Cosmic Collective's success to the chemistry the members share as friends - a friendship that began at Middle Tennessee State University. The band's fusion of electric jazz and modern sounds has been described as "refreshing and vintage at the same time."
The Lively House, featuring 3,258 square feet, three porches, four bedrooms and a carriage house, was built in 1930 by local photographer Lee Lively and his wife, Lilly. Lee followed in the footsteps of his father, well-known photographer William S. Lively, who opened the Southern School of Photography in McMinnville in 1904. The elder Lively was known for his invention of a camera that produced 30x60-inch glass negatives, and three of the original prints from that camera are in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., according to local historian Bill Jakes.
Jakes said Lee's successful photography studio was in his Main Street home, and he produced photos and yearbooks for many area schools, including what is now Central Magnet School and MTSU.
The Summer Party is your chance to support everything you love about Murfreesboro's downtown. The Main Street program annually brings to the community JazzFest, Friday Night Live, the Saturday Market, the Christmas Tree Lighting, Trick or Treat on the Square and so much more. Just $50 buys a delicious meal prepared by some of Rutherford County's best chefs, an open bar and entertainment. It's not too late to sign up to be a patron or corporate sponsor. Be a patron for $150 for two tickets, a bronze sponsor for $300 for four tickets, a silver sponsor for $500 for six tickets and a gold sponsor for $1,000 for 12 tickets. Your generosity will be noted on the general invitation and social media sites.
Make reservations for the party by calling the Main Street office at 615-895-1887 or by visiting www.downtownmurfreesboro.com. The Main Street Program is affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center and follows the tenets of that program.
Main Street capitalizes on the unique character of the courthouse square and the surrounding business district with the goal of transforming it into the cultural, social, professional and retail center of Rutherford County ... in essence, the hub of community life.