Kentucky weather is a fickle mistress. Anyone who tries to schedule outdoor events is tempted by the beautiful summer sun and and green surroundings so common to the Commonwealth -- but over these plans always looms the threat of weather like we've had the last few days -- rain, rain, and more rain, with the occasional thunderstorm for good measure.
Thus is the quandary of the Joe Ford Amphitheater at Rocky Hollow Park. Tucked away in a sylvan glade on a sloping hillside, it's seemingly the ideal place to celebrate summer and enjoy music and performances in the great outdoors.
But those best-laid plans have already gone awry once this season. Now, organizers are hoping to have good meteorological fortunes the rest of the way.
"We were supposed to start June 15, but unfortunately we got one of those weird, pop-up crazy thunderstorms and had to reschedule the Catdaddies," said Lisa Rogers, Programs Specialist for Somerset Parks and Recreation.
That's in regards to starting this year's edition of the "Rockin' the Hollow" Concert Series, which schedules local and regional artists to play at the venue named after the town's longtime parks guru, who passed away in December of 2014.
The Rocky Hollow Park-based venue was the brainchild of Ford and his last labor of love for the city; though he died before its completion, Ford's vision has remained intact, however, with no real changes to the original plan.
Five dates, one a month from May through September, were planned for the 2019 concert series; however, the May 18 concert from the Catdaddies, a Somerset rock act, was rained out, so they'll be rescheduled: August will now have two concerts, with the Catdaddies make-up date on August 3, and August 17 featuring Rev. John and the Backsliders.
That latter date will also be tied in with the "Streets and Eats" food truck and busker musician festival that same day; Rogers said that the winner of the street musician contest will open for Rev. John and the Backsliders.
The concert series did successfully fit in one scheduled performance, with the Lunatics featuring Tommy Minton on June 15.
Coming up next month are the bands Gravel Switch on July 13 and Vagabond Blue on September 21.
All concerts are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. and are free to the public.
"Follow us on Facebook, 'Somerset Parks and Recreation' -- we post all of our events and any cancellations or delays because of rain," said Rogers. "We use our social media to keep people informed."
It's more than just music; Rogers said that last time, the city's parks department grilled hot dogs and had concessions as well as "cool ti-shirts" designed by New Horizon Graphics.
"A lit of people bought some of those Saturday," said Rogers.
Now in its second year, "Rockin' in the Hollow," sponsored by Alton Blakley and Applied Behavioral Advancements (ABA), is gaining attention within the Somerset music community and drawing fans. As long as Mother Nature reacts as favorably as the public has, 2019 should be a successful season at the Joe Ford Amphitheater.
"Certain (acts) have more of a following," said Rogers of the crowds that come to see the concerts. "We had a pretty good crowd for some of the shows (last year), a couple hundred people. This year' we're hoping to pick up even more and build up into something bigger. ... People like that it's free and family-friendly."