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Southern Miss ‘SummerTunes’ to Conclude Golden Eagle Welcome Week on High Note

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 09:20am | By: David Tisdale

Hub City Sound Machine groupIncoming University of Southern Mississippi (USM) students will have a golden opportunity to tune up their weekend Saturday, Aug. 21 as they prepare for the first week of fall semester classes when Golden Eagle Welcome Weekend (GEWW) 2021 concludes its programming with a free concert in the city’s historic downtown district.

Through a partnership between USM’s Office of Orientation and Transition Programs and Hattiesburg’s Live at Five/Downtown SummerTunes, “Southern Miss SummerTunes” will feature the Hub City Sound Machine performing at Town Square Park beginning at 7 p.m. The event will include food and refreshment vendors and arts and crafts.

“The end of GEWW is affectionately known as Home Sweet Hattiesburg and it’s an effort to introduce new students to both the university and the city of Hattiesburg,” said Laura Laughlin, director of USM Orientation and Transition programs. “We wanted to make sure our students know about all of the fun things available to them as our newest residents, and since Live at Five and SummerTunes events are some of the most beloved Hattiesburg activities, we began to work with Allison Neville (event organizer) to see how we could collaborate.”

The Office of Orientation and Transition Programs will transport new students to and from the park that evening. “We also encourage community members to attend, wear black and gold, and join us in welcoming new students to the event and to the city,” Laughlin continued. “Students will get a feel for opportunities available in Hattiesburg, and we also hope they will begin to see themselves as involved citizens.”

“The Live at Five / Downtown SummerTunes team is thrilled to be working with Southern Miss to produce another great SummerTunes event,” Neville said. “When Laura [Laughlin] reached out to me about working together to bring new students to one of our shows, I knew we had to make it happen. I’m a big believer that downtown Hattiesburg, and everything it has to offer, should be an important part of the Southern Miss college experience.

“When I was a student at USM I worked downtown, and I fell in love with the area quickly. To this day, my husband I live and operate our businesses downtown, and we couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. The Live at Five team couldn’t be happier that SummerTunes will offer new students their first taste of Downtown.”

Neville said the event will look just like a usual SummerTunes show, “but with a black and gold flair.”

“(USM mascot) Seymour will be around for photos, and guests can pick up a new Southern Miss shirt,” she also noted. “That evening, Southern Prohibition will debut their Gold Rush lager, which is a tribute to Southern Miss. Vitalant will also host a blood drive throughout the event for those who want to do something to serve the community.”

Launched in 2008, Live @ Five is a free, outdoor live music series held in Downtown Hattiesburg and takes place on Friday evenings in the spring and fall from 5-9 p.m. It has grown into one of downtown Hattiesburg’s most anticipated and popular events. All shows are held at Town Square Park, and the events are sponsored by local businesses and organizations and produced by Live @ Five Events LLC. Downtown SummerTunes is the summer series produced by Live @ Five.

For more information, email orientationFREEMississippi.