Alive @ 5 (copy)

A crowd fills both sides of the Carroll Creek Promenade as the Celtic rock band Poehemia plays at the Alive @ Five concert in 2018.

Planning for downtown Frederick’s Alive @ Five summer concert series is moving ahead despite uncertainty about whether the COVID-19 pandemic will allow the events to actually be held.

In a normal summer, the concerts would fill Carroll Creek Linear Park in downtown Frederick on 21 Thursday afternoons from May through September.

But while the Downtown Frederick Partnership will still ask the city to approve permits and other details for the events, whether they’ll actually take place will depend on the status of the pandemic when spring comes, said Kara Norman, the partnership’s executive director. Last year’s concert series was canceled because of the pandemic.

The city’s aldermen were scheduled to vote on some approvals for the events at a meeting Thursday night, but the meeting was canceled because of the weather.

The partnership wants to get “all our ducks in a row” so the events can happen if the pandemic situation allows for it, Norman said.

With the need to schedule bands and make other preparations, there is some lead time to putting the events together.

“As fun as it is, it doesn’t just happen overnight,” Norman said.

The event is the primary fundraiser for the partnership, and hosting a smaller, socially-distanced version of the festivities isn’t really practical.

The events have costs — hiring the bands, installing the sound system and other details — that are needed no matter how many people attend, Norman said.

“We can’t afford to do it and lose money each week,” she said.

If the Alive @ Five events aren’t able to be held, it won’t be the first time the coronavirus pandemic has affected events in downtown Frederick.

Earlier this month, the annual Fire in Ice festival was drastically cut back due to the pandemic. That event is normally one of the biggest of the year downtown.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at

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